Gallery Elisabeth & Klaus Thoman, Innsbruck: Vulkan, Khyber & Katana

Herbert Brandl

Vulkan, Khyber & Katana

02.03.13 – 22.06.13

Herbert Brandl, Vulkan, Khyber & Katana, exhibition view

Galerie Elisabeth & Klaus Thoman is pleased to invite you to the new exhibition of Herbert Brandl in Innsbruck. The show presents the latest, landscape-format paintings by the artist alongside artful Asian swords from his own collection. The latter also gave the exhibition its title.

It is both natural phenomena, such as the mountains and volcanoes of a place of yearning, the Khyber Pass, and imaginary landscapes that make an appearance beside these swords. The Japanese art of swordsmithing is thought to be among the oldest and most refined in the world. Repeated folding and forging of very simple materials produces a very hard and refined steel. The famous Japanese long sword katana for this reason shows on its sides a delicate, almost poetic surface structure that stands in stark contrast to the actual purpose of the weapon. These optical impressions have inspired Herbert Brandl to his latest artistic expeditions. It is not the mountains of this world that have animated him. It is the hada, the blade of those long swords, and its colourful reflections, starting out from which Brandl creates new horizons. The latter evade physical perception and fascinate us all the more for being non-places. Only through being observed, the "landscapes" acquire a real-life dimension, which however at all times remains illusionary.

With his series of panoramas, created in 2000 and 2001, Herbert Brandl once before dealt with the landscape format, that occupies the observer's entire visual field and seems to invite us to physically enter and rest in this "landscape" before us. The sword-blade landscapes, on the other hand, are miniatures inspiring the artist to long, narrow pictures, paintings appearing as landscapes, yet being purely abstract compositions. These images are like wide-angle shots, and coming in formats of 300 centimetres by 50 centimetres it is not hard to think of long, sharp blades.

A special edition of the exhibition catalogue,  coming in 30 copies, each of which includes an original, signed Herbert Brandl monotype (18 cm x 29.5 cm, 2013), is available for € 1,700, or for a subscription price of € 850 during the exhibition.

Herbert Brandl, born in Graz, in 1959, lives and works in Vienna, and has been a professor at the Düsseldorf Art Academy since 2004. Contributions to group shows and solo exhibitions since 1981, e.g. 1986 Hacken im Eis, Kunsthalle Bern and Museum des 20. Jahrhunderts, Vienna; 1990 Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; 1991 Museum Van Hedendaagse Kunst, Ghent (solo); 1992 documenta IX, Kassel; 1993 Der zerbrochene Spiegel, Kunsthalle Wien and Deichtorhallen, Hamburg; 1998 Herbert Brandl Sezession, Secession, Vienna; 1999 Kunsthalle Basel (solo); 2002 Herbert Brandl Panorama, Kunstraum Innsbruck; 2002 Es gibt kein letztes Bild. Malerei nach 1968, Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basel; 2005 China retour, MUMOK, Vienna; 2007 Austrian Pavilion, La Biennale di Venezia (solo); 2008 Die Sammlung, Neue überraschende Einblicke in die Sammlungsbestände, Essl Museum, Klosterneuburg; 2009 Deichtorhallen, Hamburg (solo); 2010 Malerei: Prozess und Expansion, MUMOK, Vienna; 2010 Berge und Landschaften, Monotypien 2009/2010, Säulenhalle Albertina, Vienna (solo); 2012 Herbert Brandl, Bank Austria Kunstforum, Vienna; 2012 Herbert Brandl – Landschaften, Sinclair-Haus, Bad Homburg; 2012 Landschaften, Kunsthalle Emden.

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