Brigitte Bruckner-Mikl

Gabriele Baumgartner, Brigitte Bruckner: From shoes to the Seekarspitze, 2013

Before devoting herself to painting, Brigitte Bruckner - born in Linz in 1963 - finished her degree in restoration at the Academy of Fine Arts. She lives and works in Vienna and in Wörterberg in Burgenland.

For many years, Brigitte Bruckner excelled as a painter of still lifes. Her oeuvre did include the occasional scenery painting, but just as few as there were portraits. Only a few friends or family members were portrayed by the artist. Only Anna, her daughter, and her late husband, Josef Mikl, were - and still are - the subjects of numerous paintings.

It is possible to see the countless paintings of shoes, coats and purses of the artist as stand-in portraits where she offers the observer a part of herself, but this may be taking it a little too far. At times, an object is chosen as the motif simply for its clear lines, beautiful colors or its form. Brigitte Bruckner is often found at flea markets, looking for extraordinary pieces, which will then be portrayed from several points of view or together with other objects or surrounding objects such as fruit bowls, chairs, suitcases or armoires. These recurring motifs join vegetables, old dolls, teddy bears or flowers as popular objects of her paintings.

During the past three years, the artist has increasingly turned toward scenery painting, creating a number of works rivalling that of still life paintings. Views of the Marchfeld with its yellow fields, during thunderstorms or sunshine, views of vineyards and most importantly the snow covered mountain ranges of the Salzburger Alpen, the sharp face of the Seekarspitze and the Carinthian mountains and lakes are being painted in many facets. It is especially with these works that the artist creates transparency, where much of the canvas shines through the flimsy application of color, where the parallel colored planes on the white canvas shine and only a few select paint strokes define shapes.

There was also a change to the importance of sketches in her oeuvre: Generally, Brigitte Bruckner’s subject is oil paintings. Sketches could only be seen as standalone works during fleeting snap shots until a few years ago. The format itself was never important. Increasingly since 2010 and almost exclusively since fall 2011, the artist has been choosing A4 paper formats. The small formatted sketches in blue crayon, graphite or carbon allow an intense look at the objects, as the artist focuses on the essentials.