- Linda WolfsgruberIllustrator–Austria
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Linda Wolfsgruber was born in 1961 in Bruneck in South Tyrol. Besides attending the art college in St. Ulrich in Gröden (Italy), she studied typesetting and graphic design. Since 1996, she has been a lecturer at the Scuola d'illustrazione di Sarmed. During her thirty years as an illustrator and author, she created over sixty books in which she experimented with a variety of genres, narrative concepts, and painting techniques.
Critics emphasize the evolution of style that characterizes her output. At the same time, they point out several constant elements, one of which is humor based on anarchy against the fixed order (e.g., Princess Snotty-Nose or King and Fool) while another one is a metaphysical reflection on the world. Particularly in the recent years, Wolfsgruber has been exploring religious and mythical motifs. In the picturebook Ark, she outlined an expressionist vision of Noah's ark, a gloomy shape filled with countless pairs of glowing eyes. In the story How Was It in the Beginning, she used abstract illustrations to render the chaotic time of the world's birth, searching for answers about man's identity. The motif of identity was also explored in A Daisy is a Daisy is a Daisy—Except When It's a Girl's Name, where Wolfsgruber created fantastic portraits of half-girls, half-flowers, inspired by the custom (common to many cultures) of assigning floral names to girls.
Linda Wolfsgruber has been awarded many prizes, both in Austria and abroad, including the Golden Apple of the Biennale of Illustration in Bratislava in 1997. She has won some awards multiple times—for example, the Austrian Children's and Juvenile Book Award (eight times, most recently in 2014 for Ark), and the Children's and Juvenile Book Award of the City of Vienna (nine times, most recently in 2010 for the illustrations for How Was It in the Beginning). Wolfsgruber's works have been presented at more than forty exhibitions, including seven individual ones. Her books have been translated into seventeen languages. [End Page 42]