Martin C. HERBST: Wunderkammer April 25, 2015 - June 06, 2015


The Jubilee Exhibition programme series, celebrating Várfok Gallery’s 25th anniversary will continue with the solo exhibition of Martin C. Herbst (1965, Salzburg, Austria), Austrian artist of the Várfok Gallery. This will be his biggest exhibition organized in Europe.

 Martin C. Herbst, who has joined the Várfok Gallery’s artists’ circle in 2007, is presented in many parts of the world with solo exhibitions opening one after the other in Miami, Toronto, New York, Paris and Düsseldorf. His work has been shown in some of the most prestigious Art Fairs throughout the world such as The Armory Show, New York, Scope Basel, Scope Miami, Contemporary Istanbul and in collections and private museums, hanging alongside the works of such artists, as Ai Wei Wei, Anish Kapoor and Christo.

 For almost 20 years Martin C. Herbst’s art has been and still is defined by portraits brilliantly painted on metal surfaces. Their hypnotic, yet coolly distant beauty and optical tricks evoke the mannerist portrait painting of the XVI. Century. Underpinning the distortion of Herbst’s convex and concave surfaces lies the detailed research of the artist. And, in repainting his subjects again and again, he transfigures them continuously, underlining different components of the subject’s personality by using different colours and surface effects. As a result, many of his figures embody complex mythological references and art historical provenances.  

  This current exhibition entitled Wunderkammer can be considered as a summary, as well as revealing a kind of renewal. In addition to new work, a wide selection from the last 13 years will be exhibited. Flat paintings, spheres, semi-spheres enlarged by neon lights, convex and concave paintings, wavy and creased pictures, all will be exhibited reminding us of the diversity and curiosities of the ancient wunderkammers. It is as if we are arriving at a special museum where a ‘cabinet of curiosities’ will be revealed, step by step in front of us. Optical distortions and metal surfaces will bring the portraits alive and, in these images, our own is reflected back to us.    


© Martin C. Herbst, Várfok Gallery

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