From 22 January to 28 March 2016 – Albertina
Many people know Hans Robert Pippal (1915–1998) above all for his charming views of Vienna. And indeed, it was with great passion that this perhaps “most Viennese” of 20th-century Austrian painters devoted himself to his hometown. Pippal painted representative streets and buildings like the Ringstrasse, the State Opera, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, and the Graben, as well as atmospheric scenes from Vienna’s outer districts. He was virtually unexcelled at capturing the city’s atmosphere as it changed over the course of the day and the seasons.
The artist’s entire oeuvre is characterised by the desire to catch up to international figurative modernism following the war, as well as by his struggle to arrive at an appropriate style for his respective motifs or themes.
While Pippal’s paintingsof cities are oriented toward late impressionism, his early illustrations take after those of Alfred Kubin. And the small number of his works that deal with Christian content follow the example of Georges Rouault, a central figure of modern religious painting. The stylistic diversity employed by Pippal is by no means random eclecticism, but rather bears witness to the artists’ constant quest to find an adequate form of artistic expression for the motif at hand.This makes his artistic output a highly individual contribution to the history of modern fine art in Austria.