Lioba Brueckner’s work is at once whisper soft and powerful. These paintings murmur about memory and secret, shadowed places. These paintings speak to the sanctity of imagination. When I was in elementary school I had a poster on my bedroom wall that I spent a lot of time staring at. It was a moonlit scene, with a towering waterfall and two glowing unicorns. Behind the waterfall, you could barely make out the vaguest impression of a cave. I think. Anyway my mind remembers a cave, and it remembers, too, indulging in long expanses of daydreaming about what was in that cave, what its dimensions were, why it was there (assuming it was there). I even wrote a story about it when I was recovering from bad bout of pneumonia in the first grade. That’s what Brueckner’s paintings made me feel when I first set eyes on them: these were creations from that cave, all moonlight and lavender and blue and soft sprays of waterfall mist and unicorns and something dark and important, the feeling of my lungs slowly clearing out as I dictated my fever dreams. It goes almost without mentioning that Lioba’s technique is masterful, staggeringly, enviably so. Her portraits of women remind me of the “stunners” of the Pre-Raphaelites: models with soft lips and wide eyes that are fleshy and earthy, but ultimately otherworldly. Nighttime walkers. Ghosts and glimmers. Cave explorations.
More of Lioba’s work can be seen on Instagram @liobabrueckner and at her shop http://www.lioba.info/shop