Herbert Brandl, whose solo exhibition can be seen in the Bank Austria Kunstforum until April 14, 2012, will be showing a large red canvas in the Login together with three crouched animals (bronze casts) with the title “Säbelzahnhyänentigerhund” (Sabertoothhyenatigerdog), which are being exhibited for the first time.
If a carved tiger from Indonesia stands poised next to the canvases for months, always ready to pounce, but also used by Herbert Brandl to wipe the paint off his brushes, then the tiger’s sudden leap towards its prey not only becomes unlikely but the texture of the tiger also changes: Its surface becomes impastoed, as if the tiger has sprung out of a painting from the apparently “wild” eighties.
And if the person wiping his brush, i.e. Herbert Brandl, also remembers the completely bizarre tale of the northern Germanic goddess, Freya, who harnessed her cart to wild cats, then the carving becomes charged with enough meaning to serve as an original form. The tiger was declared an original form (we may be reminded here of one of his hyenas which was brave enough to leave the flat picture plane and step out into space); in other words, it was the beginning of what Brandl has initially intended to be a series of sculptures.
Brandl manipulates the casting mold, giving the tiger longer ears, sharper teeth, and longer legs. He then uses the sanding machine to make the claws of the tiger stand out smooth against the patinated bronze; some of the mutants of the original form have tails and bulging, erect penises – Indonesia is thereby made out to be essentially gothic. Viewers may or may not imagine the cart with its three-part harness in the Galerie nächst St. Stephan, but the three mutated feline predators can now be seen lurking in front of a canvas of colliding red hues.