Alfred Leopold Isidor Kubin (April 10, 1877 – August 20, 1959) was an Austrian Expressionist, illustrator and occasional writer.
Kubin was of Czech ancestry, he was born in Bohemia in the town of Litoměřice, which was then part of the Austro-Hungarian empire. From 1898 to 1901, Kubin studied at the art school Schmitt Reutte and at the Munich Academy. He produced a small number of oil paintings in the years between 1902 and 1910, but thereafter his output consisted of pen and ink drawings, watercolors, and lithographs.
In 1912, he became associated with the Blaue Reiter group. He is considered an important representative of Expressionism, noted for dark, spectral, symbolic fantasies (often assembled into thematic series of drawings).
Like Oskar Kokoschka and Albert Paris Gütersloh, Kubin had both artistic and literary talent. He illustrated works by Edgar Allan Poe, E.T.A. Hoffmann, Fyodor Dostoevsky and others. He was also the author of several books, the best known being his novel Die Andere Seite (The Other Side) (1909), an apocalyptic fantasy set in an oppressive imaginary land which had an atmosphere of claustrophobic absurdity reminiscent of the later writings of Franz Kafka.
His literary works also include:
The Looking Box (1925),
Of the Desk of a Draughtsman (1939),
Adventure of an Indication Feather/Spring (1941),
Sober Balladen (1949),
Fantasies in the Boehmerwald (1951),
Daemons and Night Faces (1959 autobiography).
From 1906 until his death, he lived a withdrawn life in a twelfth century castle in Zwickledt. Kubin was awarded the Great Austrian State Prize in 1951, and the Austrian Decoration for Science and Art in 1957.