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Maria Lassnig - Dialogues

Category: Exhibition 29. May 2017

Under the title « Dialogues », the Albertina museum shows 80 drawings and watercolours by the great Austrian painter Maria Lassnig, who passed away in 2014. Curated by Antonia Hoerschelmann, this first retrospective of her graphic work after her death includes some works that had bever been exhibited.

About half of the exhibited works come from the Albertina’s own collection, the rest from the Lassnig foundation. Besides the foundation, the Albertina has the largest collection of drawings by Lassnig, thanks to a donation by the artist some years before her death.

Recently the Albertina has been able to acquire another six drawings for its own collection, among them « Fat Self Portrait » and « Dad and I ».
The exhibition follows the developments in Lassnigs work in chronological order, including life periods in Paris, New York and Berlin.
The works are a touching insight into deep emotions, her self-awareness being in the center of her pictures. They are complex, humorous in spite of their sometimes tragical subjects, and most pictures revolve around herself, her feelings and her body, as she called it, „her body awareness“
This very personal concept of body awareness unfolds before the viewer thanks to her unique imagery, the traces of her perception of her own corporeality are the pivotal point of her self-exploring work.

Drawing and watercolour were important elements, her graphic work plays an distinctive role in the oeuvre of Maria lassnig.

Although grotesque, her drawings are by no means as dark and terrifying as the ones by Goya or Francis Bacon, they are quite on the contrary, bright and pastel-coloured. Her portraits can be life-affirming yet satirical and brutal, at times her portraits gaze defiantly at the observer.

In a permanent dialogue with her body she brought her feelings to the paper, transforming them into pictures, establishing connections to the outside world. Her thoughts and torments, her anguishes, frustrations and and fears, her hopes and also her sorrow seem to have been processed in a certain sense by these pictorial confrontations.

Some of the works have biographical connotations, like « The Last Picture of my Mother ». The death of her beloved mother plunged her into a deep crisis.

In about one year, the exhibition „Dialogues“ will be shown in the Kunstumeum Basel, the Albertina has it until August 27. In two years, on the occasion of Maria Lassnig’s 100th birthday anniversary, there will be a retrospective of her complete oeuvre, first in the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and then in the Albertina. (written by Cem Angeli)

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