a true child of
the 20th Century
|Born in 1900 in the small village of Hard on Lake Constance, she experienced all highs and lows of the 20th century .
She was never the star or Bohemian in some big city like many of her peers.
Flora Bilgeri didnt express her views in newspapers and magazines and wasnt discussed in any intellectual circles.
Flora Bilgeri kept a diary.
And Flora Bilgeri painted....
After her fathers early death in 1907 Flora soon learned about the hardship of life. Even though she wasnt exactly poor, she had to work on the familys farm and in their own distillery already at a very tender age.
Around 1923, as a young woman, she started to paint.
At first she was rather shy about it and tried to hide her efforts.
But even in her early work her talent is obvious.
Yet nobody realized that at the time.
People then were worried about different things. So was Flora Bilgeri. 2 World-wars, the following Depression and the death of her mother in 1941 didnt make things easier on the artist and her career.
She was now the sole caretaker of the farm and the distillery, for her brother Benedikt was working as a professor and became later one of Austrias most renowned historians, and only after she turned 60 was she able to concentrate fully on her painting.
Thats why the majority of her artwork originated in her later years. The pictures prove that the painter has a deep inner understanding of life rather than having traveled and seen much of the world outside. And in spite of her simple life-style her art never is provincial. On the contrary. Flora Bilgeris language is colorful, sometimes surreal and tells of an abundance of thoughts and fantasies.
In her later years her fantasy led her to go even further than mere painting. At the age of 70 she recorded a few songs, since she always fancied singing. She also concentrated more on her writing ambitions. Her diaries, filled with comments and lyrics are proof of the old ladys unbroken spirit and her originality.
The world of Flora Bilgeri was never loud, bright and hectic. She thrived on simplicity, silence and modesty.
And maybe thats why to this day her world shines brighter.
Flora Bilgeri passed away in Bregenz in 1985