This volume gathers together paintings, drawings, films, and sculptures by Maria Lassnig (1919–2014) from a creative career that spanned some seventy years. It explains how she thought of herself in relation to the art scene of her time. This multimedia approach makes possible new ways of looking at the artist’s multifaceted work. Examples of Maria Lassnig’s writings round out the presentation.
A number of new discoveries have come to light in recent years during the examination of Lassnig’s estate. Various works which have rarely or never been exhibited before are shown here. The focus of the book lies on the central topics of Maria Lassnig’s creative work, such as her Body-Awareness pictures. In them she explores the perception of her own body in relation to space, objects and animals – a form of painting from the inside out, which defines the relationship between the artist and the world around her.
Published by Hirmer Verlag, 2019.
Hardcover; 9.2 x 1.3 x 12 inches; 208 page; 177 color illustrations.
About the artist
Maria Lassnig was born in 1919 in Carinthia, Austria and passed away in 2014 in Vienna. Underappreciated for most of her life, Lassnig is now rightfully recognized as one of the most important Post-War painters.
From a young age, Lassnig began to explore the human figure through drawing. She studied painting at the Vienna Fine Arts Academy but found the art scene at that time to be too limiting. She moved to Paris in 1960 and then to New York in 1968, continually exploring how to represent the body as it feels to inhabit rather than how it appears from the outside – a concept which Lassnig named Körperbewusstseinsmalerei (“body awareness painting”). On returning to her native Austria in 1980, she became the country’s first female professor of painting. She also taught animation during her time at the Vienna University of Applied Arts.
Her life’s work won her many accolades including the Grand Austrian State Prize in 1988 and the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement in 2013 at the 55th Venice Biennale. She has been the subject of one person exhibitions at the Albertina Museum, Vienna; Deichtorhallen Hamburg; Kunsthaus Zurich; MoMA PS1, Long Island City, New York; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Serpentine Gallery, London; Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam; and Vienna Secession among others. Lassnig represented Austria in the 1980 Venice Biennale alongside Valie Export, and she participated in Documenta in Kassel, Germany in 1982 and 1997.