Herbert Brandl



Curated by: Barbara Steiner
Venue: Space01, Space02

Features: Thomas Baumann and Edelgard Gerngross
Open House:
22.10.2020, 3 pm - 9 pm

About the exhibition

TOMORROW – a term that is as promising and hopeful as it is vague and elusive. Both utopian and dystopian. Tomorrow, everything could be ‘better’ than today, and yet uncertainty remains. The title conveys the fundamentally conflicting tone of Herbert Brandl’s exhibition: the artist describes himself as a ‘passionate pessimist.’

Photo: Kunsthaus Graz/M. Grabner

The Kunsthaus Graz exhibition centres on the artist’s associative, process-based way of working, interwoven as a convergence of the seen, the experienced and the imagined. Childhood memories and cartoons serve as impulses, as do his own photographs, television images, webcams and current images drawn from the internet. As traces they flow into the painting process, where they are condensed, abstracted or even erased. The exhibition brings together Brandl’s most important groups of works – abstract and figurative painting, sculpture – as well as works by Edelgard Gerngross and Thomas Baumann. They are positioned in relation to one another and also to the space of the Kunsthaus, emphasizing their biographical, conceptual and material interconnections. Developed in collaboration with designer Rainer Stadlbauer, Brandl’s display is based on his reflections as an artist, translating these into a spatial, architectonic form.

Photo: Kunsthaus Graz/M. Grabner

The displays on the two exhibition floors of the Kunsthaus differ from one another at first glance, even if they do follow one curatorial line of thought: To take the singularity of the individual work seriously, but also to constantly place it in relation to the other works here, and to the space. In Space02, a multi-section yellow wall zigzags its way through the room. The arrangement of the individual walls in the space produces a dynamic combination of view and sequence: we only ever see sections, and never the whole front or back of the multi-section wall. Because the individual walls jump back and forth, certain images ‘vanish’ in and through the movement, while new contiguities and perspectives constantly emerge. In Space01 at the Kunsthaus, several large-format abstract canvases, mounted on ceiling-high metal supports, are giving a structure to the space. Moving past the larger pictures, further perspectives, images and spaces open up unexpectedly. The canvases are all arranged in such a way that each can be observed individually from one position. However, they also form ensembles or are fragmented in and through movement.

Accompanying the TOMORROW exhibition there will be a limited edition artist’s book and a catalogue published by Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther und Franz König. Both are based on books that Brandl has brought out for himself and a few friends almost annually in recent years, and which reveal his social and artistic interests. In My Instagram Diary and My Facebook Year, the artist uses his own photos and images from the internet. Drawing on these, a publication has been created for the Kunsthaus Graz that is in many ways exceptional. It traces how the exhibition evolved from the beginning of 2019 through to October 2020. 

About Herbert Brandl Expand Box

Herbert Brandl (* 1959, lives in Vienna) studied under Herbert Tasquil and Peter Weibel at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. From 1985 to 1991 he taught in Vienna; from 2004 to 2019 he was a professor at the Düsseldorf Art Academy. His works have been shown at venues including the Biennale in Paris (1985), documenta IX in Kassel (1990), Neue Galerie Graz (1984, 2002), Kunsthalle Basel (1992), the Albertina in Vienna (2011), at Bank Austria Kulturforum, at the Kunsthalle Emden and at the Altana Kulturstiftung in Bad Homburg (all 2012) as well as the Franz Gertsch Museum in Burgdorf (2017). In 2007 Brandl represented Austria at the Venice Biennale. In 2020 his works can be seen at the Kunsthaus Graz, at the Künstlerhaus, Halle für Kunst & Medien and also Belvedere 21 in Vienna. The solo exhibitions at the three Austrian institutions are each accompanied by catalogues that together show the complexity of the artist’s oeuvre through to his most current works.

More about Edelgard Gerngross and Thomas Baumann Expand Box

Herbert Brandl has invited Edelgard Gerngross and Thomas Baumann to his exhibition. He was worked with them both repeatedly. In the Space01, several works by Edelgard Gerngross are on show, including The Pillar, which was developed for the location. Gerngross’ works are hybrids of architecture, sculpture and handicrafts, without letting themselves be clearly allocated to one of these categories. The individual elements give the impression of having grown naturally, flowing into one another and connecting memories and imaginings.

Foto: Kunsthaus Graz/M. Grabner

Thomas Bauman, with Shape and Shade, has adapted a work for the BIX façade. Originally executed as a work of sculpture in which small motors cause rope sewn together to vibrate, the movements have now been filmed by him, reflected, multiplied and adapted to the BIX façade. This ‘drawing machine’ carries out uncontrollable movements, covering the art and media façade with continually new configurations of lines.


Further Herbert Brandl exhibitions 2020/2021:

The three exhibitions are each accompanied by a catalogue, giving an updated illustration of Brandl’s complex work.

Herbert Brandl. TOMORROW


Find out more about "Shape and Shade"

Thomas Baumann: Shape and Shade, 2020, © Bildrecht, Wien 2020
Project, BIX Fassade

Shape and Shade

Herbert Brandl features Thomas Baumann

22.10.2020-07.03.2021   >  Kunsthaus Graz

Black or white, yes or no, 0 or 1? In his examination of digital processes, Thomas Baumann uses straightforward decisions such as these to determine what might seem like a simplistic approach to complex correlations. more...

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