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by Dian Parker • December 3, 2015

Some painters are colorists, focusing on color to evoke a mood. Others paint landscapes to capture the essence of nature’s power and fecundity. Abstract painters work with line, shape, texture, and color. The viewer can make up a story for an abstract painting, or not. For Margit J. Füreder’s paintings, there is most definitely a story; a woman − stylish, beautiful, and focused − is on a journey. Where has she come from and where is she going? Unsolvable mysteries.


Füreder freezes time in her paintings, taking moments from daily life. Her subjects are the femme, women in movement. Whether leaving a plane, suitcase in hand, or lying naked inside a swirling dream, these women are on the move. They have purpose.


In her dynamic process of painting, Füreder paints in oil using many colors. She then scratches a repertoire of letters and text fragments into the surface of the picture; then scrapes them off. The tracks of color she leaves hold the painting in an energetic float between the real and the transcendental. Her paintings are relief-like structures. Along with thin, transparent tones of color placed next to thicker, more intense colors, the effect is sensitive and mysterious.

Füreder’s studio in Linz, Austria is a colorful chaos of paper, canvas, magazines, books, oil paint, brushes (she uses each brush only one or two times), laptop, printer; all fronted by two high walls on which she fixes her linen or canvas. She began painting as a child, at 30 became a professional artist, and in 2008 made a breakthrough exhibiting in international galleries. Füreder has been with West Branch for the last three years.


“The most influence in my work comes from the media and nature,” Füreder said, “And from my inner me when I close my eyes.” Her oil on canvas, Plus Jaune II, 65 x 35.5 inches, is a collage of images, words and numbers. A woman’s bare torso with a necklace around her graceful neck, her face unseen, the letter Y, the number 8 − this painting could be a private code for a secret liaison. Crossing Line, 52 x 59 inches, shows a woman from behind in a cocktail dress. The orange ground contrasting to the woman’s pale white naked back is striking. The painting, Dreamcatcher, 74.5 x 54.5 inches, is yet another story. A naked woman hovers above water, or is it air, or is it her bed? Her face is turned away from the viewer. She is in her own world, dreaming, not to be disturbed, and yet we have full view of her. In both of these paintings, Füreder’s scratched disturbances in the paint create a language that the viewers must decipher for themselves.


With exhibits in her home country of Austria, as well as Germany, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Miami, Indianapolis and West Branch, Margit J. Füreder is busy.  “My greatest challenge is always to find a new way of painting. The next painting must be the best,” she said. “My vision is to never stop painting.”

Memo by Margit J. Füreder, Oil on Linen, 40″ x 60″

Plus Jaune II, Oil on Linen, 65″ x 35.5″

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