Die Burger, Netwerk 24

Waber charts her life daily as art

From Die Burger, Netwerk 24, 2015-02-12

Some creative people are morethan the works or things that they make.  Art, for example.

In fact, their whole life is a creative process.  The persona, the being of those individuals has a way of framing the artworks against the walls or on the floor with their own joie-de-vivre.

The visiting Austrian artist Linde Waber is such a person.

Her artworks are hanging on the walls of the Irma Stern Museum in Rosebank like casual sheets, works in progress, illustrative scribbling in diaries. Everywhere the names of other artists appear beside the works on paper.

At the opening last week, there was music and poetry, and many art lovers attended.

Antje Krog read translations of poetry by Waber’s 90-year-old friend, the Austrian poet Friederike Mayröcker.  And composer Hans Huyssen made music.

Even how it happened that she is exhibiting here in South Africa, far from her home and studio in Vienna’s Augarten area, knows so many local people, and has tuned in to the heartbeat of Cape Town, is a testimony of boundless energy. And particularly of her creative spirit.

With 75 around the corner (on 24 May) Waber has had a complete, fulfilled life and career of picture-making, art, and particularly tackling creative processes with others.

Although Waber’s name is not well-known in local art circles, she is regarded as one of the top contemporary artists in Austria. She has had two major, large exhibitions in Vienna’s famous Leopold Museum.  One was a complete retrospective in 2010.

She works and draws in the wonderful tradition of expressionism, which has been established for decades. It has deep roots in the German and particularly the Austrian history of art. Simply stated, such paintings must tell a story. In a sense it is also an illustration, a highly skilled graphic work. Colour and line that invite and satisfy the viewer.

The central theme of this “pop-up” exhibition is artists and their work and living spaces.

Many well-known Cape Town artists, composers and writers have allowed her into their interior spaces, with her pencils and paints. Since she visited South Africa for the first time in 2010, her local circle of friends has grown.

There is something delightfully playful, fun and even voyeuristic in what she calls “Atelierzeichnungen” (studio portraits).

Clearly, Waber is a traveller, from one country to another, from one studio to another. Every day she makes drawings.  In this way she charts her life as art.

Linde Waber’s art can be seen up to February 21.