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For Ulrike Lienbacher, drawing is a central medium. She puts her figures to paper with an exact stroke that emphasizes outlines and also permits a subtle type of plasticity. “My drawings,” she remarks, “are final works in their own right; they’re neither sketches nor preliminary studies. By no means do I draw in order to spontaneously capture impressions. My drawing is much rather the expression of a conceptual process, a process of construction. The ‘austere’ means of drawing demand reduction and precision. And working with lines forces one to be abstract and clear.” Lienbacher produces drawings of young women that show a variety of poses and gestures: attending to their intimate hygiene, dressing and caring for their appearances, washing, combing their hair, and while drying off their bodies or in underwear. The bodies of these girl-like figures, some of which are naked, are often realized in a fragmentary manner: such figures occasionally have no heads, or one can see only body parts such as the hands, hair or feet. Her figures’ gazes are never shown. And even if a figure does have a head, it is turned away from the observer, which consistently gives rise to an effect of self-absorbed, erotic interplay between presence and absence, which Lienbacher reinforces by accentuating special details of her black-and-white drawings with the sparing use of color. A dirt-brown shoe sole, yellow, red or grayish-black liquids, or panties with red flowers represent examples of meticulously developed “impure” motifs that stand out in formal contrast to the “pure” forms of the lines—which are reminiscent of classicist forms, albeit in a deliberately broken manner.

  • Artist: Ulrike Lienbacher
  • Original Title: o.T.
  • English Title: Untitled
  • Year: 2005
  • Material: india ink on paper
  • Dimensions: Original Size: 30 x 23,5 cm (11 13/16 x 9 1/4 in.) Framed: 35,5 x 29 cm (14 x 11 7/16 in.)
  • Inventory no.: K173
  • Category: drawing
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