Sibylle Pfaffenbichler, Austrian/American

From delicate, sweet watercolors I have grown over the years to bold and fearless mixed media work. Whatever the influences and inspirations along the way, good and bad, I have learned to dare and be. My struggle to find the right line or direction is often left visible in my finished work. It is part of the finished work, part of the process we call life.

What fascinates me in particular is to create the illusion of Movement on a flat surface. I have worked for years on rendering the swing of dance but there is also movement in my floral stillifes and landscapes.

Drawing faces of Jazz artists gives me tremendous joy. Their well known images, mainly in black & white, associated with the exciting sound of their music, feel like treasured old friends. I add color.

The same goes for Mozart. Spending most my childhood summers in Salzburg, the free spirited Mozart became a very endearing and familiar figure to me. His hourly glockenspiel menuet on ceramic bells ringing through town is still with me. It seems like the sound of music inspires me to create on paper.

While my series of dancers, musicians and flowers are basically sheer fun, I also feel a deep committment as artist to make a meaningful contribution to the serious and sometimes troubling side of society.

My goal is to balance the lighthearted aspect of art for its beauty and uplifting spirit with the art of conveying a serious message to aid human causes.

I was born in the ancient city of Steyr in Upper Austria and immigrated as teenager to the United States. While my art training started at home with my Father, Josef-Maria Pfaffenbichler,  and Austrian art of the 20th century - Klimt and Egon Schiele in particular -, my formal education I received in New York City at FIT, State University of New York, graduating with a Bachelor Degree of Fine Arts. My specialty was Surface Textile Design. Textile Designer "Vera" hired me out of school and my first professional artistic endeavors were freely painted scarf designs in watercolor for her company.

My path into Fine Art started out in the beautiful Brooklyn Botanical Gardens where NYC artist Fred Gutzeit instructed "People painting the Garden". Later at Long Island University, advanced art courses with Prof Robert Munford really woke me up. His powerful charcoal drawings and strong paintings moved me. I started drawing and painting large spontaneous floral still lifes with the sunflower as the dominant element.

Today my work consists of bold interpretations of music and dance from the early era of Jazz up to Rock n'Roll of the 60's as well as Mozart's era, aiming for a strong sense of movement on paper. My favorite media are charcoaled willow sticks, pastel and acrylics/oil. I have had several solo exhibitions in New York City, the Hamptons of Long Island and Vienna, Austria.

The Hamptons of Long Island,New York, where I live, contributed greatly to my technical and intellectual growth - in 1993 I became President of a 300 member artist group - The Southampton Artists. I also was their Chairman for Guest Speakers for 5 years, that means I arranged for 50 speakers. Many great American artists live here and generously gave of their time, sharing their philosophy, techniques and life experiences. The one artist who left the fondest impression on me was Larry Rivers; one who gave me inspiration to think outside the box was Robert Wilson.

Over the years my growing conscience for social justice found expression in a number of posters I rendered for charities and labor unions, Bread & Roses Cultural Projects.
 

Studied:
Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), State University of NY, BFA summa cum laude
Advanced Art Courses Long Island University, Brooklyn and Southampton Campus
w Prof. Robert Munford
Volkshochschule Steyr, Austria "Portraits"
Staedtische Handelsakademie Steyr, Austria, Matura

Exhibition Record (Museums, Institutions and Awards):

DESHUK-RIVERS GALLERY, Bridgehampton, LI, Solo "INTIMATE MOMENTS IN BETWEEN" Spring 08

The SOUTH STREET GALLERY , Greenport, LI, "JAZZ CLUBS AND SILHOUETTES". May/June 08

SOUTH STREET GALLERY, Greenport, LI, Solo Exhibition "IN MOTION" Nov 17 / Dec 10,2007

SOUTH STREET GALLERY, Greenport, Long Island, Group Show, Summer 2007

STADTCAFE PURKERSDORF, VIENNA, AUSTRIA, Solo Show "The Joy of Dance"

PLAYBILL COVER FOR THE WESTHAMPTON BEACH PERFORMING ART CENTER FOR THE SEASON 2007-2008

SAVANNA'S RESTAURANT, PERMANENT EXHIBITION, Jazz Musicians and Dancers, Southampton NY

MEL ART FACTORY, Vienna, Austria, Solo Exhibition "MOZART & BOOGIE-WOOGIE" 2006

BREAD & ROSES CULTURAL PROJECTS, NYC, Group Exh. "Dance of an Open Mind"

NEW CENTURY ARTISTS GALLERY, CHELSEA NYC, Solo Exhibition "JAZZ AND JITTERBUG"

THE PARRISH ART MUSEUM, Southampton, NY, Juried Exhibition

BREAD & R0SES CULTURAL PROJECTS, NYC, Solo Exhibition "NANA"

GUILD HALL MUSEUM, East Hampton, NY, Invitational

FAVORITE AWARD - "Excellence in Watercolor" by Donna de Salvo (Parrish Art M.)
Southampton Artists Exhibition

HECKSCHER MUSEUM, Huntington, NY, Invitational

WATER MILL MUSEUM, Member Shows

ROGERS MEMORIAL LIBRARY SOUTHAMPTON, Solo Exhibition "JAZZ AND JITTERBUG"

COMMISSION FOR 23 WORKS FOR THE SERIES "MEMBERS AT WORK" FOR THE 1199 NATIONAL BENEFIT AND PENSION FUND HEADQUARTERS, HOSPITAL WORKERS UNION, NYC

COMMISSIONED POSTERS FOR SEIU-AFL, Washington DC

POSTERS and Work FOR CHARITY and ART ORGANIZATIONS - Labor-Religion, Dominican Sisters, Retreat, Southampton Historical Society, Guild Hall Museum, WH Performing Art Ctr. ....

First Prize AWARD FOR OFFICIAL POSTER (Landscape) FOR THE VILLAGE OF SOUTHAMPTON, LI, NY

HONORARY DESIGN OF CANCELLATION FOR IRVING BERLIN STAMP, WATER MILL U.S. POST OFFICE

15 YEARS OF EXHIBITING IN THE CHASE MANHATTAN BANK OF SOUTHAMPTON - COMMUNITY OUTREACH

Numerous exhibition in Galleries, Businesses and Studios on the East End of Long Island, NY.

Memberships:
Southampton Artists, President 1993
Southampton Artists, Chairman of Guest Speakers 1990-95
Organizer for Chase Manhattan Morgan Bank Community Exhibitions, Southampton, 1989-2004
Contributing Artist and Writer to Childrens Paper for 15 years.
Magazine and Newspaper References:
Southampton Press, Dec. 2007, "Canvases that Capture the Joy of Dancing" by Pat Rogers

Niederoesterreichische Nachrichten NOEN, June 2007, "Die Illusion der Bewegung", "Jazz-Taenzer wirbeln ueber Mozartnoten"

AUSTRIAN TV N1, Interview at Vernissage "The Joy of Dance", June 2007, Austria

Southampton Press:

New York Times

Dan's Paper

East Hampton Independent

Parrish Art Museum

1199 News


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