Brigitte Lustenberger

Born in Zurich, Switzerland, Brigitte studied at Zurich University and received her MA in Social and Photo History in 1996. In the following years she established herself as an fine art photographer. She moved to New York and received her MFA in Fine Art Photography and Related Media at Parsons The New School of Design in 2007. The main issues in her works lie in her interest in the study of the gaze, the interplay between absence and presence in a photographic image, and the fact that the reading of a photograph is most often triggered by a collective memory. She explores the media itself and its close connection to themes like decay, memory, death and transitoriness.

Brigitte Lustenberger has shown nationally and internationally in both solo and group shows. She had Solo Shows at the Museée de l’Elysée in Lausanne/Switzerland, at Walter Keller’s Scalo Gallery in Zurich and New York, at Le Maillon in Strasbourg/France, Kunstkeller Gallery in Bern, Photoforum PasquArt in Bienne. Her works have been part of group shows in the Kunsthalle Bern, Kunsthalle Luzern, Art Cologne, Centro Internationale de Fotografia in Milan. She was awarded the Grand Prize Winner PDNedu, the Golden Light Award, Shots/Corbis Student Photographer of the Year, Prix de Photoforum PasquArt, The Photo Review Comeptition, Selection Voies Off at Arles, and others. She received fellowships for Cairo and Maloja and was awarded with the prestigious swiss Landis&Gyr Residency in 2013. In the same year she was awarded for the second time (after 2002) the Photo Award of the Canton Bern.

Brigitte Lustenberger creates a modern and yet baroque universe by following a baroque still life tradition to evoke meaning by showing and choosing certain objects, facial expressions and gestures. The images are very much about the transitoriness of being and the constant human involvement in it - and its resulting changes of fates.The artist goes back literally to the meaning of the word Portrait which descends from the latin word protahere which can be translated as to pull out something, to bring something forward, to bring something to light. The black spaces from where the faces or the sill lifes appear leave room for the viewer’s interpretation. Most of the lighting in the photographs is natural daylight coming in through a window.



Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Photography and Related Media, New School University, New York, United States

Master of Arts (MA) in Social und Photo History, University Zurich, Switzerland

Selected solo exhibitions


„This sense of wonder“, ArtStadtBern, Bern, Switzerland


Christophe Guye Galerie, Zurich, Switzerland

Galerie Kunstkeller, Bern, Switzerland


Walter Keller Galerie, Zurich, Switzerland

„Etagen“ (Förderprojekt Loeb und DC Bank), Bern, Switzerland

„Kabinett“ Kunstraum Winterthur, Switzerland

„Chambre à Part/Le Maillon“ Strasbourg, France
Galerie Madonna#Fust, Bern, Switzerland

„Musée de l‘Elysée“ Lausanne, Switzerland

Scalo Galerie, Zurich,Switzerland

Photoforum PasquArt, Biel, Switzerland

Torre Belvedere, Maloja, Switzerland

Selected group exhibitions


Abstractions, Christophe Guye Galerie, Zurich, Switzerland


Tut en Flur — in voller Blüte, TART, Zürich, Schweiz

Les Boutographies, Montpelier, France

Aufgeblüht und abgelichtet, Galerie Stihl Waiblingen, Germany


Darmstädter Tage der Fotografie, Museum Künstlerkolonie, Germany


„Flowers I“ Galerie Béatrice Brunner, Bern, Switzerland


La Nuit des image, Musée de l'Elysée, Lausanne, Switzerland

„Extravaganza“ Galerie Crochetan, Monthey, Switzerland
„ArtCityBern“ Bern, Schweiz
„L'harmonie des extrèmes“, Stadtgalerie, Bern, Switzerland
„Sichtweisen“, Kornhausforum, Bern, Switzerland

„Mitbringsel“ Stadtgalerie Bern, Switzerland
„Near by Night“ Berlin, Germany
„ART Zurich“ Zurich, Switzerland
„Fotopreis des Kantons Bern“ Kornhausforum, Bern, Switzerland
„Cantonale“ Kunstmuseum Thun and Musée de l'Arts Moutier, Switzerland

„Das Narrative in der Fotografie“ Kunsthaus Kaufbeuren,Germany
„Eliza‘s eating elephants and hates to draw trees“ sic! Raum für Kunst, Luzern, Switzerland
„Nuit des images“ Musée de l‘Elysée, Lausanne, Switzerland
„Soirée Graphique“ Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland
„Near by Night“ Projection, Lausanne, Switzerland

„After Dark“ La Filature, Mulhouse, France
„Family Value“ Michael Mazzeo Gallery, New York, United States

„Inside Out Part II“ Kunsthalle Luzern, Switzerland
Print Center Gallery, Philadelphia, United States

„Regionale 09“ Kunsthaus Langenthal Catch of the Year, Dienstgebäude, Zurich, Switzerland

„Faccia a Faccia, Forma“ Centro Internationale di Fotografia, Milano, Italy
„Auswahl Madonna#Fust“ ART Cologne, Germany

„Voies Off“ Arles, France
„Selected by ...“ Kunsthaus PasquArt, Biel, Switzerland

Aeschlimann Corti Stipendium, Kunsthaus Thun, Switzerland
„The Naked Truth“ The Center of Fine Art Photography, Fort Collins, United States

„FIVE“ Scalo Gallery Space, New York, United States
Epson Art Photo Award, ART Cologne, Germany


Soho Photo National Photographic Competition, SohoPhoto Gallery, New York, United States



Werkbeiträge City and Canton of Bern, Stanley Thomas Johnson Fondation, Migros Kulturprozent, Switzerland

Landis&Gyr Award, Berlin, Germany
Photography Award, Canton of Berne, Switzerland
Werkbeiträge, Stadt, Kanton und Burgergemeinde Bern, Pro Helvetia, Migros Kulturprozent, Switzerland

Grant for residency in New York, City and Canton of Berne, Switzerland


PA (International Photography Awards), Honorable Mention Recipient, New York, United States
PWPs 35th Anniversary Call, Juror‘s Selection, New York, United States

Ankauf, City of Bern, Switzerland
Werkbeitrag Canton Bern, Switzerland


Residency in Cairo, Bern, Switzerland
Frauenkunstpreis, 2. Place, Berne, Switzerland

Ankauf, Canton Bern, Switzerland
Séléction Voies Off ..., Arles, France

Grand Prize Winner, PDNedu, New York
Golden Light Award, Maine

Prix de Photoforum, Biel, Switzerland
Epson Art Photo Award, Cologne, Germany

Werkbeiträge, Canton of Bern and BAK, Switzerland
PS Gr Dean’s Scholarship, New School University, New York

Residency in Maloja,, Switzerland
Werkbeiträge, City and Canton of Bern, Switzerland

Photography Award, Canton of Berne, Switzerland
Werkbeitrag, Pro Helvetia


Collection Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne
DC Bank, Bern
Stadt Biel
Stadt Bern
Kanton Bern
Loeb, Bern
The Center of Fine Art Photography, Fort Collins CO