Herbert Brandl, who counts among the most celebrated Austrian contemporary artists, creates atmospheric color spaces through his abstract pictorial worlds. Form, color, and light as material and artistic method are central to his work. In Brandl's abstracted forms, landscapes and natural elements seem to emerge over and over — thus holding his paintings in suspension between the abstract and the figural.
With this kind of abbreviated, standard description of his work, essential parts of Brandl's artistic approach are commonly underappreciated, such as his conceptually grounded as well as broadly diverse media interests, or his preference for inscrutable and thus compelling structures. For beyond his primary format, painting, numerous works in the media of drawing, aquarelle, sculpture, and video have appeared. Brandl thus reveals himself as a “universal” artist, who thinks in terms of installations, beyond the canvas, and who at the same time is aware of the specificity of the respective medium and its materials, while reflecting pertinent contexts and lines of inquiry within his work. What emerges in the end is an intuitive, experienced craftsman, a “real” painter, who has expanded his work following an inner impulse, as well as through conceptual considerations in respect to media and content. His ongoing focus lies in his surroundings and their possible mutations, as a whole pointing towards a sustainable interest in nature, community, and politics.
The focus of his work, however, is always on painting, which Brandl has been pursuing for decades with untiring energy. The simultaneity of different approaches is essential, the paintings are not based on any great appreciation or interest in formal practice. For Brandl, it is about the painting process and the picture itself, whose production requires intuition and reflection, artistic work that is also unsparing towards itself. From the first brushstroke he begins his quest for the solution to the concrete problem at hand — the finished painting.