Galeria Filomena Soares proudly presents, for the second time in its exhibition space, the most recent works by the Austrian painter HERBERT BRANDL (Graz, 1959). Entitled RIOSBRANDL2015, the exhibition will open, with the presence of the artist, on May 21st, at 21h30 p.m., and will be on view until September 19th 2015.
The pictorial language of Herbert Brandl can be, in a way, contextualized within the Romantic tradition that German painting has been developing since the eighteenth century. Deeply influenced by Edmund Burke and Immanuel Kant´s philosophical concept of the Sublime, romantic painting estheticized a natural quality of an extreme nature or force, which transcended the mere concept of the Beautiful. Thus, painters conveyed a sense of inaccessibility in front of something immeasurable, leading the viewer to genuinely experience mixed feelings. On the one hand, the wonder and the charm of an impressive image that was before him. On the other hand, the fear and the horror before that same image, often a turbulent landscape. At that very instant, caught between these two feelings, a new aesthetic value reveals itself and it is one of prime importance for an art that, being introspective, always relate to what surrounds and is exterior to it.Brandl´s work rescue this double experience. The relationship between the figurative and the abstract, through large scale paintings, unveils a strategy that forces the viewer to move himself in front of the canvas in order to better grasp the reality that appears before him: a sublime landscape. Even the confrontation with the scales of these landscapes, observed more closely as a detail, or from far as a large panoramic, contributes to the instability of its viewers. Who, inebriated, between the strokes, sometimes more prominent sometimes more blurred, found themselves lost in unknown and challenging places.
Herbert Brandl's paintings also leads us to a revaluation of the subject of the landscape in the context of the Art History and to how, in a sense, the story of this subject can be (re)read under the light of the contemporaneity. The painter, working from historical references and not exactly from watching a real or natural setting, shows a careful and striking analysis regarding the history of the landscape, of its appropriation and uses. The references to a collection of images are constant: from Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840), to Claude Monet (1840-1926) and Jackson Pollock (1912-1956), among others. The representation of the landscape no longer deals with a merely documentary point of view nor with a sort of an exotic archive of realities that humanity does not dominate or is unaware of. Instead, it deals with a personal archive which, more than external images, tries to achieve a landscape of intimate and inner feelings. Therefore, the interior is revealed through an outwardness that emanates from its restrained essence.Brandl´s imaginary archives are also opponent to the museum´s archives. Since, his personal momentum opposes both to the current taste as to the political need of images preserved in museums. If the latter reveals dominant conceptions of the power exercised by Mankind over Nature, the images that Brandl proposes, through his very own intense and free brushstrokes, reveals to us wild and unruly places. It is as if the uncontrollable power of these images reversed the previously built power. It is, here and now, indeed, the Nature that controls the Mankind and not the other way around. Museums and their works lose, therefore, the dominant power and the legitimacy of an "archival impulse", allowing their viewers to project in distant historical realities their very own realities and experiences. This effect shows up and it is simultaneously translated through the imprecisions and the impurities of the very effective paintings that Herbert Brandl presents us.