2nd to 19th of May 2012

Herbert Brandl, the painter, creates images in which fleeting moments of (re)-cognition take turns with immersions into vibrantly coloured dream worlds. His works are poised in a state of uncertainty between abstraction and representation.

“I develop colour out of colour, not out of form. In essence, my painting features blotches or clouds of colour, out of which evolves a dominant colour, which floods everything,” the artist remarked recently.

Herbert Brandl, the citizen, uses HAPPYSULMTALTOTALZERSTÖRUNG 2012 to raise awareness of the imminent threat to one of Europe’s most unique river landscapes, namely Austria’s picturesque Sulm Valley. Curator Günther Holler-Schuster:

“One may be doubtful as to whether the Sulm Valley can be saved from destruction. The artist’s anger and society’s apathy in the face of the ruthless treatment of nature and its resources are widespread and constantly fueled by new causes. Painting, as one of the most traditional forms of media within art, has few opportunities to actively intervene in social processes.”

The exhibition presents a selection of oil paintings and monotypes. In this simple printing technique painted acrylic glass plates are pressed onto an image carrier, creating a series of unique images, comparable to the individual images on a film roll.

Gallery-owner Helmut Reinisch:

“I have known and appreciated Herbert Brandl since the early 80s and two aspects of his works are especially fascinating to me. On the one hand, he brings classic elements to contemporary art without being classic. What I mean by that is his treatment of colour and light, which he uses as tools more canvas and brush. On the other hand, that he reinvents himself every few years, surprising us with unconventional creations.”


Chinese painting always strived to create not just a representational framework, but also a media locality where true life was possible. In this context, art is equated with the art of life (savoir vivre).

Herbert Brandl confronts the audience with a similar situation. Some of his images, which aren’t always necessarily abstract, show partly recognisable structures that do not correspond to any conventional logic. They appeal vehemently to the inner visual consciousness of the audience. Powerful colour formations often push themselves across the image surface and conjure dramatic natural events, at times extending into dreamlike and psychedelic spheres. As much as his paintings might evolve around landscapes and mountains, they are also in a state of uncertainty between abstract and representational, which makes up the enigma of these paintings. The realistically formulated mushroom is suddenly made strange, appears monstrous and threatening – unreal.

Günther Holler-Schuster

Reinisch Contemporary