Personal Statement

Petra Bachmaier, originally from Munich, holds an MA from the University of Fine Arts of Hamburg, Germany. She also holds a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and spent time at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam.

Petra is one half of the artist duo Luftwerk, together with Sean Gallero.

Luftwerk art installations use light to transform experiences of space and site. With immersive artwork at landmarks such as AT&T Plaza in Chicagos Millennium Park, Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater in Pennsylvania, Mies van der Rohe's Farnsworth House in Illinois, most recently Chicago's Garfield Park Conservatory and Munich's Bayerische Staatsoper to name a few, their work blends history and contemporary media to open new aesthetic conversations within public spaces. Projects to date have been featured in periodicals such as Architectural Record, Condé Nast Traveler, Dwell, The Creators Project, and designboom. Recent awards include an Endorsement Award for Innovation from Surface Magazine, a Media Art Award from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), a CODAaward for integration of commissioned art in a public setting, and two featured projects honored by the American for the Arts Public Art Network (PAN).

Current Interests

Luftwerk art installations use light to transform experiences of space and site. We explore the properties of light, its composition and inherent qualities to reveal the visible and hidden characteristics of our surroundings. Through our work, we manipulate and sculpt light to discover how it materializes and dematerializes surface and environment. We take an interdisciplinary approach, experimenting with a spectrum of materials and techniques to advance our artistic medium. Our work intends to shift viewer’s perceptions of space and site through light and color, opening new conversations by inviting the public to experience the familiar transformed.


Disclaimer: All work represents the views of the INDIVIDUAL ARTISTS & AUTHORS who created them, and are not those of the school or museum of the Art Institute.