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Maria Lassnig (b. 1919, Carinthia, Austria, d. 2014, Vienna, Austria)

Maria Lassnig was born in 1919 in Carinthia, Austria and lived and worked in Vienna.  After studying at the Vienna Fine Arts Academy, she spent some time living in Paris and New York. From 1970 to 1972 she studied film animation at the New York School of Visual Arts. On returning to Vienna in 1980, she became the first woman professor of painting in the German-speaking countries, holding the chair in this discipline at Vienna University of Applied Arts.

Maria Lassnig embraces painting, sculpture, animated film, and major graphic output. She had long kept her drawings under lock and key, and only published them in 1997 in ‘Die Feder ist die Schwester des Pinsels’ [The pen is the sister of the paintbrush], published by Hans Ulrich Obrist. Her life’s work won her many accolades, including the Grand Austrian State Prize in 1988, the City of Zurich Roswitha Haftmann Prize, the Rubens Prize of the Town of Siegen, Germany, in 2002, the City of Frankfurt Max Beckmann Prize in 2004 and the Austrian Decoration for Science and Art in 2005, the 55th Venice Biennale Golden Lions for Lifetime Achievement in 2013.

In 1982 and 1997, Lassnig’s work was displayed at the Documenta in Kassel. Since the early 1950s, her works have appeared in solo exhibitions including the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2019); the National Gallery, Prague (2018); MoMA PS1 (2018); the Municipal Gallery of Athens (2017); the Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany (2017); the Kunsten Museum of Modern Art, Aalborg, Denmark (2016); and the Tate Liverpool (2016), among many others.

Lassnig’s work is included in public collections such as The Centre Pompidou, Paris; Kunstmuseum Basel, Switzerland; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; and The Museum of Contemporary Art Siegen, Germany, among others.

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