MEANDERING CAREER PATHS by Annamaria SCHWENDINGER DiePresse
COURAGE to CHANGE / Career DiePresse.com – 9th / 10th June 2012
“It HAS to change” – that was clear to Monika Lederbauer after a serious coach accident 1997th. At that time she has survived with good luck. With 22 years she had a doctorate in medicine, a cardiology specialist education followed. She was passionated Medicine Woman, expanded her knowledge by a homeopathic training with cerificate and during her fourth pregnancy, she loved the idea of her own ordination.Then the accident happened and her decision was made: to change her life fundamentally. “The fact that I survived, for me has been a sign to change,” Lederbauer says. She graduated at the International Summer Academy of Fine Arts in Salzburg. The talent was visible and has been followed by first exhibitions and awards. “The love of art has always been at the bottom of me, at this time I have re-discovered.” Currently she is working on a collage series.
Michaela Hajnoczi, art historian and philologist (2006)
“Using the brush, I try to express what I feel, see and hear.
I feel with my eyes, I listen with my soul, I think with my heart. ” ML
Observers of Monika Lederbauer’s works are drawn into the border region of representational and abstract art where feelings rather than intellectual concepts serve as guidelines. In this sense she follows the impressionists and her elected sprit, Herbert Brandl.
In her „first life“, Lederbauer, a child of the fifties, used to be a committed physician. An accident in 1997 and the resulting experience of her own limitations led to a reorientation. An existing artistic talent, suppressed by the necessities of life, suddenly evolves. An autodidactic period is followed by numerous intensive workshops and internships with teachers like Svoboda, Kaiser, Müller, and the Zhou brothers. Within a short period, Lederbauer achieves impressive artistic mastery and independence.
Soon she develops the basic principles and concepts that characterize her works for the time to come: depth, light, energy, the central role of nature, a lyrical and expressive disposition, technical mastery. Repeatedly, we find the topics water (Mee/hr series), mountains (Blue series) as well as the night (Sternenhimmeltagebuch).
„The charm of colors keeps me spellbound. In the reflection of moving waters, the colours gain an enormous intensity and saturation“,says Lederbauer. Again and again, she feels compelled to meditate with the brush in her hand about the various conditions of the elements: snow and glaciers, the ocean and the atmospheric dilution in mist and fractured light. There is an ongoing symbolism in the colour scheme of Lederbauer’s works, which are often reduced to a simple palette of blue and white hues: blue as the color of eternity, longing and wisdom, white as the sum of all colors and as the color of light itself.
In context with the contemplation of water, Lederbauer says: „There is a new composition of the picture in nearly any given moment.“ This unfinished state, this emerging and fading quality is the underlying motor in the creativity of this artist. Thus, the challenge in every white canvas is not to depict a concrete aspect of a certain landscape, but rather associations, personal feelings and emotions connected with it. This is why the onlooker gets literally drawn into the painting.
This attitude towards representational painting is true for Lederbauer’s nudes, as well. It is not the human body with his volume that is the focus of attention, but rather the lines which define it. The concept here is essentially different from her oils and acrylics: instead of the the soul, the sentiment and tone, the form is in the limelight. The line develops its own dynamics, the outlines of simultaneously depicted shapes melt together.
Depicting the human body means to Lederbauer first of all self discipline, understanding of shapes, conscious grouping of bodies, and the description of movement. The element of time as a fourth dimension is powerfully brought into account by the rapid change of positions. Just like in photographs, the bodies are shown simultaneously from various perspectives so that the beholder feels transported in the middle of the scene. The precise ink line emphasizes – together with fine washes- the loosing and finding of the outline which is the focus of attention.
Mag. Dr. Ursula Fischer, Galerie am Lieglweg, Neulengbach ad ML`s artwork
(20. Nov. 2010)
“I feel with my eyes and I listen with my soul, think with my heart! With my brush I want to reflect, talk to others, tell stories.” When you look at the paintings of Monika Lederbauer you are astonished by her variety, the consequence she has when dealing with nudes, Chinese ink painting, landscapes or portraits and the Blue Mountains as shown in this exhibition. She always tries to get to the bottom of all possibilities of painting.
A consequence which makes us feel that a natural scientist tries to bring the hidden, the un-speakable, even the mystic to the surface, to give expression to it. Not with the means of natural science, but with the means of art.
Monika Lederbauer has studied medicine and she was very successfuly working as an internist. A drastic event, an accident brought her to giving up medicine and devote herself to art.
And as seriously as she was earlier practicing medicine she is practicing art now.
At the beginning as an autodidact, then more aimed – as it is appropriate for a scientist- with different teachers, among them famous ones like Arnulf Rainer.
I think you must be obsessed with art, and I use that expression quite purposefully, and I do not use it in a negative sense, to give up the secure and socially well acknowledged position of a doctor to become an artist.
This reminds me of a young artist, who told a future art student: I would not advise you to commit yourself to art. Only when you have the feeling, that you do not only devote yourself to art, but that you must do it, because there is no other possibility, then you can do it.
We might now remember former times of centuries gone by, in which art and science were not so far drifting apart so drastically as they do presently, in which art and science were still conscious of their mutual roots.
Monika Lederbauer is a seeker. We do not know what she is looking for, but we might suspect something, and when we accompany her during that search, we might also find ourselves in the sound which her paintings bring along.
We are all seekers and during the search questions are important, not the answers, because answers might be never found.
Monika Lederbauer asks these questions, or better: we ask these questions ourselves when looking at her paintings.
Blue is the main colour of her sea- and mountain paintings. A kind of blue, which is reflecting at first sight the coolness of deep oceans, high mountains, maybe even glaciers, but when looking closer we also feel a lot of longing.
Positive feelings: sympathy, harmony, friendliness, friendship, distance, vastness, endlessness, faithfulness, relaxation, quietness, cleverness, science, precision, punctuality, concentration, sportiness, efficiency, courage, eternity, truth, ideals .
Monika Lederbauer is using blue for her mountain paintings.
The blue colour in paintings had a higher reputation than red. Blue, especially ultramarine blue was produced from the semi-precious stone lapis lazuli. Lapis lazuli was found in Persia and in the Hindu Kush. This stone had to travel a long way until landing on the palette of an artist.
For many centuries mountains were enemies for man. In the mountains evil was living. Old legends tell about caves, in which dead emperors or evil dwarfs were still living. Nobody went to the mountains in the 17th century. Only at the beginning of the 18th century the first Alpinists started their timid attempts to climb the mountains. Mountains at that time were a hidden, maybe even hostile world, however, they were also enticing. Some residual respect of the mountains we still can find with the old tribes of the Himalaya, who do not want Alpinists to climb their very often holy mountains.
Yes, mountains were holy and also this can be felt in Monika Lederbauer`s paintings.
The Sea and the mountains are only a contradiction at first sight. In reality they have always been connected among themselves. Many mountains have arisen out of prehistorical seas, they are so to speak sediments of these seas.
Many mountains have collapsed into seas and are still collapsing until today, and finally the depths of the sea are only mountains turned around.
And also here we find parallels to earlier worlds. Some centuries ago the seas and the mountains were a strange and inhospitable world for the people living on the mainland and in the valleys, worlds in which mythical figures were living, and sometimes you can see them even in the background of Monika Lederbauer`s paintings, but man of the 15th century followed his curiosity and conquered the seas of the world one after the other and in the 19th century finally also the mountains.
In Monika Lederbauer`s painting we begin to understand also these unyielding and sometimes not understandable sailors and mountain climbers, who wanted to conquer the seas and the mountains against all experience and popular opinions.
They were also seekers and this is reflected in these paintings. They were seekers, but they yielded to their curiosity and they have always found something, even when this was sometimes only death.
Seas and mountains in Monika Lederbauer`s paintings radiate a certain tempting and an incomprehensible and propably insatiable longing, which makes them so touching for us.
The portraits seem to come from another world, but only at first sight. Also in these faces one can find a certain secret, you want to get to the bottom of things, you want to fathom out what it is.
Monika Lederbauer`s portraits seem to be woven with nature itself, they are one with plants, landscapes, earth. The artist shows mainly female portraits. Women are said to have more connection to the world of subtle energy, maybe because they are closer to the original things of life, to pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding. Also the portraits of Monika Lederbauer sometimes seem to show primordial mothers, who come from earth, with all their sensuality, their erotism and motherliness. These portraits also seem to ask: who am I, who are you? Especially the portraits seem to belong to this room extremely good.
The viewer of the sea and mountain paintings and the portraits understands, that deep inside us we are still connected with nature despite our apparent distance due to the urbanisation and the technologisation of our life. Nature and man do not exclude each other, they are completing each other. We are all different expressions of the same spirit of the world.
This common thing, this core of our existence is stirring up our inside when looking at Monika Lederbauer`s paintings and this is what units the different expressions of her significant artist`s ability.
Monika Lederbauer unites emotions with competence.
Art without handicraft is unthinkable. Handicraft without art is still good handicraft. Monika Lederbauer understands handicraft, but she is giving this additional spirit to handicraft, which we will never understand, but which we can only feel: her works are art!