Martin C. Herbst is an Austrian painter, whose work focuses on an elaborate reevaluation of art historical themes and theories of classical portraiture and human figures.
His “subjects” are individual but at the same time portray the best work of their epochs. The traditional intent to display the distinctive likeness, personality, and even the mood of the person is combined with witty and often unexpected forms of representation. Faces appear on spheres and look like caged moonfaces.They are distorted when painted on curved panels, but look “normal” if the viewer perceives them from a certain point of view. Or they are painted very traditional, but exist in multiple versions.
His virtuosic, often monumental figurative paintings and objects appear paradoxically, at times cool, distant, mediated as well as present and vivid.Herbst carefully avoids narration or any illustrative visual discourse, while convincingly exploiting his potential as an impressive colourist.
Martin C. Herbst (*1965) has exhibited extensively around the globe, recent solo shows include Jacob Karpio Gallery, San Jose; Mark Hachem Gallery, Beirut; Christopher Cutts Gallery Toronto; Mike Weiss Gallery NYC; Várfok Galéria Budapest; MITO, Barcelona. Fair participations include Art Basel Miami; Armory Show N.Y.; Scope New York/Basel/Hamptons/London; Art Chicago; Los Angeles Art Show, Artbo, Bogota; Show off, Paris; Art Brussels; ArteBa, Buenos Aires and others.