MARIA LASSNIG 1/3 – She was an Austrian artist, known for her theory of body awareness. The starting-point while painting: the only true reality are her feelings, played out within the confines of her body. She, one of the most significant and innovative painters on the contemporary art scene was born in Carinthia in 1919. Her mother gave birth to her out of wedlock, and she was raised mostly by her grandmother. Throughout her life she had a knack of moving away, from where her best interests seemed to lie. In 1968, she traveled in New York, where many art galleries returned her portfolio with the message, that her work was too strange.

MARIA LASSNIG 2/3 – Became the first female professor of painting in a German-speaking country. In 1980 she returned to become a professor at the Vienna University of Applied Arts. What she called the body awareness painting, were her deep internal processes and feelings. With this Austrian painter dealers and curators don’t know, how to fit her work. Over a 70-years career, she morphed her woman’s body with her high colour into outlandish disguises.

MARIA LASSNIG 3/3 – Her work is about more than just painted surface. Her paintings of herself (as a robot or an elderly naked gunslinger) have seen her hailed as the perfect artist for our age. Enrolling at Vienna’s Academy of Fine Arts in 1940, she soon found herself locking horns with a politically cowed faculty. As Austria began to open up after the war, she was exposed to foreign influences, including cubism. In 1951 she went to Paris, where she became friends with surrealists. As you can perceive, she had provided a succinct account of the difficulty of translating bodily sensation into a visual language. Her œuvre embraces not only painting, but sculpture, animated film and graphic output.

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