Exploring the Visual Language of Sarah Mühlbacher's Paintings

Sarah Mühlbacher is the newest artist to watch in our series highlighting emerging talent in the art world.

Through the Munchies Art Club series Art Observatory we explore the beginnings of her career as an artist.

sarah mühlbacher, artist, new faces in contemporary art now
Sarah Mühlbacher: Artist Portrait | Image courtesy of the artist

Born in 1999 in Salzburg, Sarah Mühlbacher now divides her time between her birthplace and Linz, where she is both living and creating.

Demonstrating significant potential in the Austrian art scene, Sarah began refining her painting techniques at the Kunstuniversität Linz under the guidance of Ursula Hübner since 2018. She just recently finished her studies in Linz, receiving her diploma in fine art in early 2024.

sarah mühlbacher, artwork, realistic painting, emerging austrian art
Image caption: Sarah Mühlbacher: Artwork „Late Night Vending Machine“, 2022, oil on canvas | Image Courtesy by the Artist
sarah mühlbacher, in her studio, painting, emerging art from austria
Image caption: Sarah Mühlbacher: process picture of working on a watercolor painting -> Artist Studio view | Image Courtesy by the Artist

Alongside her studies, she has earned several merit scholarships and participated, including a scholarship to participate in the prestigious Summer Academy Salzburg.

Sarah's growing portfolio features a series of notable solo exhibitions such as the introspective "Midnight Snack" at Elektrohalle Rhomberg in 2023 and "Somnium" at KHG Linz in 2022, which both highlight her evolving prowess and the depth of her artistic exploration.

Group shows like "Realistinnen" at PARALLEL VIENNA 2022 and "Nothing Exists this is not RAEL" in Stuttgart in 2022 reflect her active participation in the vibrant European art circuit.

Sarah’s artistic statement reveals her deep engagement with the quotidian yet intimate spectacles of daily life.

The scenes she portrays in her works—whether a tranquil living room or a silent street at night—are imbued with a sense of the familiar disrupted by startling elements.

sarah mühlbacher, artwork, realistic, painting, contemporary art now
Image Caption: Sarah Mühlbacher: Artwork -> „Someone Else“, 2022, Lithography colored with watercolor on paper,1/1 I Image Courtesy by the Artist

This includes the jarring intrusion of bright spotlights or the eerie presence of shadows and reflections, which she skillfully integrates into her watercolor and oil paintings.

These elements might serve as metaphors for the unseen forces that shape our perceptions and experiences.

In her creative process, Sarah places a significant emphasis on the layering of translucent color, in her slow, drawn out painting process, a technique that allows her to delve deeply into the emotional and physical textures of her subjects.

sarah mühlbacher, art student, university linz, Ursula Hübner class, on the edge
Image caption: Sarah Mühlbacher: Artwork -> „In Yellow“, 2023, watercolor on paper I Image Courtesy of the Artist

Her methodical approach to painting—examining, layering, and distancing herself from the subject during the working process —enables her to transform ordinary photographic references into compelling narratives that capture moments of both clarity and distortion.

Her work ultimately challenges viewers to confront the ordinary with a sense of wonder and suspicion, pushing the boundaries of how everyday life is depicted and experienced in art.

sarah mühlbacher, cat, conversation, drawing and painting, new faces in contemporary art now
Image caption: Sarah Mühlbacher: Artwork -> „Conversation“, 2022, oil on canvas, with appied elements of reflective foil I Image Courtesy by the Artist

Through her ongoing exploration of the subtle interplay between light and shadow, reality and perception, Sarah Mühlbacher continues to establish herself as a significant voice in contemporary art.

Sarah Mühlbacher

Sarah Mülbacher -> Website

Follow Sarah Mülbacher on Instagram for upcoming projects and new works.

Art Observatory - Now I am in Your Head | Munchies Art Club Magazine
Welcome to the Art Observatory, where burgeoning talents from art universities and fresh faces in the art scene converge. They are the new voices shaping the art of tomorrow, igniting the cosmos with boundless creativity and innovation. Join us as we witness their stellar ascent.

More Art Students to Discover -> Discover Art Observatory

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