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PAUL FLORA. Drawings

Category: Exhibition 2. November 2021

The master of graphic reduction, who died in 2009, would have turned 100 next year. Flora first became known as a caricaturist on political themes, he published in the "Zeit" as well as in the "Tiroler Tageszeitung".

However, he saw himself more as a draftsman than a caricaturist, and the exhibition curated by Antonia Hoerschelmann focuses on the non-political work. About 100 drawings from the Albertina's own holdings and from loans from the Flora family's estate and possessions are arranged chronologically; his first sheet (with two trees on the banks of the Mississippi) dates from 1936.

Like few artists, Flora devoted himself exclusively to drawing. Especially in his early work, influences of Lyonel Feininger, Pablo Picasso, Paul Klee and above all Alfred Kubin are visible. He was friends with Kubin until the latter's death, and an exchange of letters between the two artists has survived.

In his later work, the city of Venice occupies an important place in his drawings; motifs well known to the public, such as the plague, the carnival, or the architecture of the lagoon city, become visible in ever new variations.

Another trademark, the ravens, also come into their own in the show, for example as birds marching in rank and file in the "Prussian Parade of Ravens." While there is no sense of malice or cynicism in Flora's works, his drawings are always characterized by a combination of humor and a certain melancholy.

According to Erich Kästner, with whom Flora collaborated, Flora wrote as a draftsman " pictorial writing. And he has the enviable advantage that his stories, anecdotes, pamphlets, hymns and humoresques need not be translated. For the illustrator there are no foreign languages. He writes in the mother tongue of all peoples. Paul Flora is a picture writer. He is a man of letters." (written by Cem Angeli)

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