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Marke Österreich
Manu Burghart

This stamp should simply and directly work like an icon. To this end, the motif is clear and direct, graphically pictorial and compact. Austria is regarded as the land of the mountains – and also of the lakes. The two subjects become the two poles of the design: a green mountain looms over dark waters while its white summit stretches upwards into the setting sun of the red and white sky. The mountain is a positive image: solid and traditional, strong and rooted. The lake represents depth and variety as well as – naturally – the soul. And the colours – red, white, green and blue – are the colours of Austrian folklore. These stylized and dramatic scenes from nature invite comparisons with the mood of the nation and with the Austrian tendency to swing between intense euphoria and depressed resignation.

Manu Burghart (*1968)

The Austrian illustrator and art director Manu Burghart (born 1968) has lived in Cologne since 1999. A trained artist, she had previously worked as a designer for Calvin Klein in New York. Fashion still provides the main focus for the versatile designer who supports international fashion labels in their search for a contemporary identity with a body of design work stretching from logos and catalogues to textiles and accessories. Rather than being a crime, ornament is, for Manu Burghart, an ideal means of emphasising connections and differences, rules and variations, conformity and individuality. Patterns and silhouettes, contours and surfaces provide the elements of an elegant visual world which, for all its perfection, remains constantly open to directness and disruption. Her illustrations for the business magazine brand eins act as visual summaries of entire essays which are not shy to cast light on the negative. The same is true of Manu Burghart’s work in the area of culture which includes the graphic content for “Liebe Deine Stadt”, a book about the forgotten post-war modern buildings of Cologne and the collage-like design of a float for the Carnival Monday parade which she used as a means of protesting against deep cuts in local cultural funding.