In her fourth exhibition at Galerie Elisabeth & Klaus Thoman, Maria Brunner shows several new large-format works. Brunner pins close-up photographs of blossoming chrysanthemums onto the white walls of the gallery using simple staples. The shapely flowers were photographed in analogue in front of a neutral background and – as if through a filter – coloured monochrome in shades of violet, grey and blue during processing. On the single photos, the artist attaches different paper scraps of the same floral motif. The arbitrary shape of these paper fragments seems guided by the lushness of the tongue-shaped petals. On the other hand, the snippets seem to have a life of their own, for example when they are cut out in an E-shape or straight as a candle and attached to a photograph, giving the work its title (
The repetition of a motif and overlapping of levels as a process of image making can be observed in Brunner’s work in photography as well as in painting. Untitled (2011) depicts the portrait of a woman whose features are reproduced on the same canvas doubled within the face. This results in a blurred moment in the otherwise hyper-realistically painted image. This is taken up again in the still life of verwelkte Amaryllis (2014) within the play with blur/sharpness. Here the eye is drawn to the clear form of the withered leaves, there to the blurred face of the woman. Her dual presence seems to become a new reality.
Maria Brunner’s most recent painting, I’m glad, I’m not me (2021), also enters this humorous interaction with the viewer. The canvas shows a smiling face flashing out of an abstract yellow surface, as if through a peephole. Positioned on the back of the red wall, the large canvas (220 x 170 cm) turns away from the exhibition and towards those looking through the shop window from outside. In order to be able to recognise the fading mischievous face, one must either approach the painting very closely or wait for the evening hours. To then be able to view the work without the strong reflection of the daylight.