Though born in 1950, Michael Horowitz can rightly claim the title of a renaissance man. In a new exhibition, the Albertina lets us enjoy his creativity as expressed through the lens of a camera
- View around 50 B&W works, mostly from the 60s to 80s
- Look for the Oskar Werner photo, in particular
- Runs Feb 28 – Sept 6, 2020
- All labels and display text in English, too
- Standard museum entrance ticket gets you in
- See also: Albertina visitor & tickets info
Of people and a time
(Michael Horowitz – Mick Jagger, 1967 – Hahnemühle Fine Art Baryta Print – Besitz des Künstlers © Michael Horowitz)
Michael Horowitz started working with the camera in his late teens, helping his photographer father. Yet photography was to be only one of many outlets for his creativity. He worked or created, for example, as a journalist, book publisher, newspaper editor, playwright, scriptwriter, and musician.
Nevertheless, it’s Horowitz’s photos that feature in this solo exhibition at the Albertina.
The works primarily cover the late 60s, 70s and 80s, when Horowitz’s connections to personalities from the art and theatre world gave him the access and empathy required to create photos with a particular expressiveness to them.
Remarkably, all the photos on display come from the photographer’s own private collection, printed on FineArt Baryta paper for display in the Albertina.
The subjects fall into three broad categories:
- Icons of the age, all recognisable to an international audience. For example, Andy Warhol (1981), Mick Jagger (1967), Arnold Schwarzenegger (1975), Niki Lauda (1968) and Yoko Ono / John Lennon (1969)
- Photos from the art and theatre scene in Austria
- Street and news photos from a period when Vienna was emerging (with teething problems) from post-WWII into a more cosmopolitan, open era
While photos of those who still retain celebrity status today enjoy that recognition factor, the highlights for me came from Horowitz’s portraits of those subjects with a more intimate connection to Austria. Such as the one of artist, Arik Brauer, perched on top of his easel.
These particular shots tend to have the subject at a distance, giving them more context and thus more meaning.
Nowhere is this concept more pronounced than in the shot of Simon Wiesenthal, best known for his efforts to bring Nazi war criminals to justice. The photo shows only his head down at the bottom of the frame with a challenging look on his face, while a huge map of Nazi Germany occupies all the remaining space.
I could have stared at the photo of Oskar Werner for most of my Sunday, trying to discern just what he was thinking. The Oscar-nominated Austrian actor sits in a coffee house, elbow on the table, forehead pressed to his hand. His look seems distant, but indecipherable (to me, at least). Wonderful.
Dates and tickets
Enjoy Horowitz’s photos from February 28th to September 6th, 2020.
How to get to the exhibition
If you were that way inclined, you could almost throw a stone and hit the Albertina from the Hofburg Palace complex that dominates the very centre of Vienna. The museum belongs to that huge cluster of sights and attractions in the old town. Pick up travel tips from the main Albertina article.
Address: Albertinaplatz 1, 1010 Vienna