1919 - 2014

Maria Lassnig is considered internationally to be one of the most important representatives of European avant-garde art. After creating an early body of work that reflected Surrealism and Informalism, she later turned to self-portraits and focused on what she called “body consciousness.” In her choice of expressive media, Lassnig used not just painting, drawing and sculpture but also animated film. She wanted to depict what she felt. This inward-directed perspective made it possible for the artist to create new and different kinds of pictorial representation. Lassnig called her works “Körperbewusstseinsbilder” (Body Awareness Paintings), offering deeply personal insights into her own emotional world. With a mixture of abstract and in some cases deformed but realistic forms, she conveyed to the viewer a sense of her own physical awareness. Lassnig is part of a group of progressive Austrian artists, who in a similar manner to Kiki Kogelnik developed a formal pictorial language that fulfilled their needs. Lassnig’s lifework was honored on a number of occasions, finally with the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 2013 Biennale in Venice.