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Kubin between fantasy and reality

The major spring exhibition at the Leopold Museum is dedicated to the Austrian printmaker and illustrator Alfred Kubin (1877-1959). Confessions of a Tortured Soul is a comprehensive and, in many respects opulent account of the artist’s multifaceted work – an artist who is considered one of the greatest fantasists of the 20th century. 250 exhibits, including around 160 works by Kubin, stretch across eleven halls of the Leopold Museum.

Alfred Kubin – teaser video

A journey into Kubin’s soul

It is the first major exhibition to show Kubin in the context of his sources of inspiration. His work, which spans 60 years, is decisively influenced by two elements. Art historical models and artistic contemporaries such as Francisco de Goya, Max Klinger and Edvard Much, whom we also encounter in the exhibition, all served as sources of inspiration for Kubin.

However it is also his biography, characterized by significant crises and personal losses, that occupies a fixed place in his art. Exhibition curator and Leopold director Hans-Peter Wipplinger emphasizes that the aim of the exhibition is above all to showcase the diversity of the artist in a nuanced manner.

“You can't separate art and life in Kubin’s work. To engage with his work is to take a journey into his soul. And also to delve into cultural-historical and social phenomena. For he encapsulates the state of the world for us in his oeuvre.”

Black and white range of subjects

The exhibition architecture with its dark wall colors helps to deeply immerse visitors in the world of Kubin and his colleagues. Colors are nowhere to be seen in Kubin’s work, since he didn’t have much use for them. His works are almost exclusively in black and white.

This special exhibition is not chronologically structured. This is intentional: instead, it is divided into eleven chapters and thematic islands. Dream and reality, apocalypses, the destruction of war, pandemics and natural disasters are just some of the themes we encounter in Kubin’s work, not to mention in reality. Because right now his work presents itself as more topical than ever.

On display are countless works that captivate us and give rise to considerable reflection. These include grotesque depictions with animal figures and hybrid creatures reminiscent of Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Bruegel the Elder. Alfred Kubin studied both of them, as well as the psychology pioneers Sigmund Freud and Carl Gustav Jung. All in all, the result is multi-layered. A threatening one? Perhaps. An impactful one? Absolutely. 

Alfred Kubin. Confessions of a Tortured Soul.

April 16 – July 24 2022

Leopold Museum

Museumsplatz 1
1070 Vienna
  • Vienna City Card

    • Your benefit with the Vienna City Card: -16%

      Additional information on the offer: Standard ticket price: 15€ / With Vienna City Card: 12,50€ / Vienna City card holders are entitled to use the fast lane at the Leopold Museum

  • Opening times

    • Mo, 10:00 - 18:00
    • We, 10:00 - 18:00
    • Th, 10:00 - 18:00
    • Fr, 10:00 - 18:00
    • Sa, 10:00 - 18:00
    • Su, 10:00 - 18:00
    • on holidays, 10:00 - 18:00
  • Accessibility

    • Main entrance
      • no steps (Double swinging doors)
    • Car parks Main entrance
      • 4 Parking spaces for people with disabilities
        Parkplätze am Areal sind über die Haupteinfahrt / Ecke Volkstheater erreichbar
    • Elevator available
      • Door 90 cm wide
    • Further information
      • Wheelchair accessible restroom available.
    • Comments

      Main entrance, access to all exhibition rooms and restaurant/café: no steps.

      4 parking spaces for visitors with disabilities in the MuseumsQuartier area.

      6 free parking spaces for visitors with special needs on the premises (access: Burggasse / Volkstheater) with proper identification and 4 parking spaces for visitors with special needs in the parking garage (basement level 2 next to elevator, access: main entrance Museumsplatz).

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