Anyone who works on a high level over decades like Brandl is constantly confronted with the question of the
"Zeitgeist" and continuously changing viewing habits. He is aware that painting is one form of image production
among many, which does not make it any easier. What makes a ("good") painting? Brandl confronts these crucial
questions like a matador, a bullfighter of painting, who constantly confronts the arena anew. The questions,
challenges, and temptations circle around him; he can only restrain them with a red cloth that hides a sword
underneath, which brings the material into form, like a small, constantly moving stage curtain that provides a frame
for the matador's agile, daring maneuvers. In movement, concept, and color, canvas and brush provide the solution
— the bull, the animal within us, surrenders exhausted and satisfied. Afterwards he finds some rest. In the
state of relaxation a vague idea emerges, which slowly takes shape in him, to finally look for a new challenge.
It is possible that the really important things happen in these rest periods, in the time of reflection and the
superimposition of events, which prefigures and conditions the approach to art and painting. The exhibition "24/7"
(Twenty-four/Seven) explores the intermediate in Brandl's work, juxtaposing his last cycle of works from 2020
consisting of 24 monotypes (unique, original prints of a painting) with an earlier cycle of 7 ink works in shades of
black from the late 1980s, each of which seems to be painting, but is not — or is it? The presentation of the
works, none of which have been shown previously, is displayed in a hanging scheme that plays with the late modern
"white cube" architecture of the exhibition building. With "24/7" it becomes clear that Brandl’s origins are in
1970s Conceptual Art with its questioning of the concept behind the work, which he continues to draw upon. Behind
all of the alleged pictorial power of various realistic or abstract "subjects," and their supposedly clearly legible
"pictures" lie phantasmagorias and perceptions that, with not inconsiderable effort, refer to an idea of a painting
— which is what constitutes ("good") painting and its "politics."
The exhibition is accompanied by an extensive supporting program that brings lectures by important commentators on
Brandl's work to Graz. In addition, a catalog will be published by Koenig Books (London), which will include a large
number of illustrations, an extensive text by Robert Fleck, an art historian perspective by Christoph Bruckner and a
Herbert Brandl (*1959 Graz, lives in Vienna) studied under Herbert Tasquil and Peter Weibel at the University of
Applied Arts, Vienna. From 2004 to 2019 Brandl was a professor at the Düsseldorf Art Academy. His works have been
shown at the Biennale de Paris (1985), the São Paulo Art Biennale (1989), Documenta IX (1992), Kunsthalle Basel
(1999), the Neue Galerie in the Künstlerhaus Graz (2002), Deichtorhallen, Hamburg (2009) and the Albertina, Vienna
(2011), among others. In 2007 Brandl represented Austria at the Venice Biennale.