Herbert Brandl is known for his mostly large-format individual paintings. His powerful and dynamic, often abstract compositions that were part loosely inspired by photographs can be read as landscapes. Animals also belong to his present repertory of motifs. The gestural and haptic qualities of the works address fundamental questions of painting. They are, however, also founded on certain topics or concerns. Brandl produces his prints with brushstrokes that are just as rapid as in his paintings, making not only a gestural impression in the process but in part also featuring realistic references. His bronze sculptures previously resulted from chance in the studio, but in the meanwhile he has developed an individual mythological creature. It recalls a hyena, a chimera, or a Gothic figure, while its expressiveness and the group arrangement point to current international events.
Approximately half of the exhibition area in the Museum Franz Gertsch will be devoted this year to the show of Herbert Brandl’s recent works. On the one hand, two series of monotypes addressing free interpretations of Tibetan landscapes (“Bubendorfer Series”, 2012) and Brandl’s occupation with rock crystal (“Kristallblau” [Crystal Blue], 2016) on the other. Insights into his approach to landscape and the animal world are provided by numerous large-scale and monumental canvas paintings ranging in time from the past eight years to his current “Großglockner” works (2016) as well as the sculptural group “Das letzte Abendmahl” [The Last Supper] (2016) that has not yet been shown in this arrangement in Switzerland. The spectrum of his painted work extends from abstraction to figuration.
Herbert Brandl was born in Graz, Austria, in 1959. He began his studies with Herbert Tasquil and Peter Weibel at Vienna’s University of Applied Arts in 1978, and in 2004 he himself was named to a professorship at Düsseldorf Art Academy. His works are represented in a wide range of renowned collections and the artist has exhibited frequently around the world since 1978. Herbert Brandl lives and works in Vienna.
The exhibition was curated by Anna Wesle in collaboration with the artist and the Galerie nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder, Vienna.