Ulrike Lienbacher

Born 1963 in Oberndorf, Austria. Lives and works in Vienna and Salzburg, Austria I Photo: ©Rainer Iglar



Born 1963 in Oberndorf, Austria

Lives and works in Vienna and Salzburg, Austria

Ulrike Lienbacher’s motifs in her diverse, often abstract figurative works are based on the human body. One of her initial considerations is that fantasies of optimisation, striving for efficiency and the expectation of a high level of performance are social tendencies that are also projected onto the body. This makes it the venue for both overt and subtle disciplining – and the endeavour to rebel against regimentation. Lienbacher’s media are drawing, sculpture, photography and video. She is primarily concerned with the tension between social framework conditions, power structures and the individual search for identity. Desires to free oneself from this corset are mixed with efforts to meet everyday demands.  

Characteristic of her drawings, which occupy a central position in her work, is the formal reduction and the clearly drawn line, which at the same time appear controlled but also fragile and broken. The mostly fragmented body images are complemented by abstract works in which the drawing gesture is in the foreground, e.g. in the group of works entitled “Etudes”. In this series of works, the seemingly spontaneous sweeping movement becomes visible as a rehearsed performance. In Lienbacher’s work, repetition, practising, also in connection with sports training, is a central theme.  Her objects, situated between everyday objects, equipment and body-related formal language, expand the field of vision from the body to the space and social environment surrounding it.  

All the partial aspects that are reflected in drawing, photography and sculpture move and intensify in formal contrast – in the perfection of seemingly industrially manufactured forms, in the simplicity of the drawn line and in the matter-of-fact approach of photographic works, which are reminiscent of scientific comparative studies.  

Lienbacher studied at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, a class for sculpture. Her works have been shown in numerous exhibitions in various art institutions, such as:  Albertina, Vienna, Austria, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria, MAK – Museum für Angewandte Kunst, Vienna, Salzburger Kunstverein, Salzburg, Austria, Galerie im Taxispalais, Innsbruck, Austria, Lentos Kunstmuseum, Linz, Austria, Austrian Cultural Forum, New York, Museum der Moderne, Salzburg, Austria, MARTA Herford, Germany, Musée d ́art moderne et contemporain, St.Étienne, France, Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland, MOCAK – Museum of Contemporary Art , Krakow, Poland. She has also realised several projects in public space.