From the winter-rainfall regions of South Africa stems the commonly called Amaryllis plant of the genus Hippeastrum, which enjoys great popularity in Germany, since its bloom in winter augurs well for springtime. Maria Brunner was born in 1962 in Lienz, Austria and now lives in Berlin. In 2014, she dedicated an entire cycle of small-format oil paintings to the amaryllis plant. In addition, in this first comprehensive publication on her oil paintings of recent years painted with great virtuosity, there are a number of large-format canvases with floating drapery from 2015, as well as small folded glassine felt pen drawings from 2016. Maria Brunner’s work has always been characterized by profound doubts about whether things are as they seem. Her oil paintings have nothing in common with the hyperrealism of Franz Gertsch or Chuck Close, nor with the disappearance, blurring and the volatile real moment of a snapshot as in Gerhard Richter’s work. Since her collage-like oil paintings from the period around 2010, her examination of surface stimuli has moved toward the presentation of a single object. In relation to her collages, we initially still said: The heart has no knees, the nose is neither a cucumber nor a biscuit. For the amaryllis paintings and the floating fabrics, however, it now has to be said: What does that remind me of? There are several factors at play for the viewer: Maria Brunner works are aimed at being overpowering in the painted detail, they use the knowledge of chiaroscuro in the backgrounds and built it up using the opposite effect, the sfumato, so that hyperrealism never has a real chance. It may sound bold, but this is a celebration of a whole new magical realism!
Galerie Gisela Capitain Cologne, Galerie Elisabeth & Klaus Thoman Innsbruck / Vienna
Martin Prinzhorn, Elena Brugnano
130 pages, 80 illustrations in colour, 8 on translucent paper
28 x 23 x 2 cm
The book was published as part of the homonymous exhibition at Galerie Elisabeth & Klaus Thoman, city (04.02.–13.05.2017).
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