Galerie Mezzanin

Hubert Scheibl
Vienna Accumulation

Press release

Galerie Mezzanin is honored to announce Vienna Accumulation, a solo exhibition of the Austrian artist Hubert Scheibl.
With this, our triptych of renowned Austrian abstract painters, starting with Martha Jungwirth and followed by Walter Vopava, which we had the pleasure to exhibit during the course of the last year, will come to an end.

Scheibl’s œuvre is defined by space-dominating dimension, complex in its composition, yet with an unconcealed directness.
At the beginning there is the confrontation with a single color, which through superimposed layers of paint, working with palette knives, squeegees and sometimes brushes, later on evoke completely idiosyncratic « color spaces » that the viewer’s eye must wander through.
It is the seemingly smooth surface that, at second glance, turns out to be a very subtle movement of color, in which different coats of coloring keep shining through cuts and fissures.
The paintings arise from themselves and are never composed, calculated or planned.

« I build up the painting while it’s wet. Then there are the final moments where I often change the last throw again - then it’s over. It’s like a card game - once you’ve played a card, you can’t take it back! [...] The viewer immediately senses that the picture was made in one go [...] It’s also about stringency. »

Scheibl’s work conjures up a kaleidoscope of diversity and a field of tension between chaos and order, idea and gesture, paradoxes between the moving and the static - a constant testing of extremes.
He is concerned with bringing out these discrepancies, with the constant back and forth between otherworldly beauty and sharp-edged, glaring disruptive factors that test the ductility of his medium.
In need to find out about what’s behind, about the subtexts, about what emerges when the canvas is transformed into a vast field where the physical and mental energy currents converge.
The title of the works, which often refer associatively to (American) film masterpieces, are one of these subtexts: He understands cinematic history as a part of our collective memory. This is partly linked to a couple of years spent in New York at the end of the 1980s, which have had a lasting influence on his thinking and body of work.
Early in that decade, Scheibl was part of the artist group “Neue Wilde”, though his tendency towards monochromatic paintings quickly stood out from other representatives such as Erwin Bohatsch, Herbert Brandl, Gunter Damisch and Siegfried Anzinger.

« [I] first had to fail properly. In order for anything to get going at all, everything had to miss the mark first! I see the failing with the years a little more calmly, it is a part of the permanent crisis. You have to start with mistakes so that you can get to that point in the first place, which is then worth pursuing. »


Hubert Scheibl studied under Arnulf Rainer und Max Weiler at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna and participated early at the Biennale di Venezia and Biennale São Paolo. He’s currently exhibiting his retrospective at the Albertina, Vienna (2021), and presented among others solo exhibitions at the Parkview Green Museum, Beijing (2019); Casa Madrea, Napoli (2019); Belvedere, Vienna (2016); Museum of Modern Art, Salzburg (2013) and at the Essl Museum, Austria (2010). His works are represented in numerous international collections, a.o. Centre Pompidou Paris, Cisneros-Fontanals Foundation Miami, Michael and Susan Hort Collection New York, NAMOC International Art Museum Beijing, Albertina Vienna, Belvedere Vienna.

All citations were taken from the catalogue „Fat Ducks“, Essl Museum, 2010

(with support of the Austrian Kulturforum in Bern)

Images Press release