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Art: Hubert Scheibl

Age: 66

Lives: Vienna, Austria

Represented By Dominik Mersch Gallery, Sydney

His thing

Abstract paintings with huge stylistic variations.

Our take


In the German-speaking world, Hubert Scheibl is a celebrated painter, recently honoured with a solo show at Vienna's Belvedere Museum. He's now having his first exhibition here. Those who've enjoyed Katharina Grosse's installation at Carriageworks in Sydney, or Gerhard Richter's recent show at Brisbane's Gallery of Modern Art, should find much to like.

He explores all the aspects of abstract art that connect with the senses and emotions: varying the texture of his surfaces, creating a sense of imaginary space within the picture, using colour to suggest gradations of light. Some paintings are densely layered, others simple. They can be dark and melancholy, or luminous.

His background. Scheibl graduated from the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Vienna in 1981, as a wave of neo-expressionism was sweeping across Europe. His abstract paintings showed that one could be just as expressive without all those garish, clumsy figures.

Almost 40 years later he's still experimenting, producing works of startling variety, from Ones III (2016-17), which resembles a single blue-black brushstroke on a field of green (above), to Nicotine on Silverscreen II (2015-16), a thick, explosive burst of white against greens and pinks.

Can I afford it? Scheibl's work is not cheap, but not outrageous in international terms, either. The most expensive piece in the show is Unreal Pulsation (2005-06) at €79,000 (about $124,000); it may also be the most attractive. Other oils range from €28,000 to €58,000, while works on paper sell for €9500 to €11,000. 

For the impecunious but talented, his Sydney gallery is holding a competition: take a selfie with a Scheibl and you could win one of two works on paper or a signed catalogue. 

Where can I have a squiz? Dominik Mersch Gallery, Sydney; Exhibition ends March 3. Scheibl is not represented in Melbourne.