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Maria Lassnig
Sciencia (Science) - [Detail]
Oil on canvas

78 3/4 x 59 inches
Courtesy the artist


A Painter, Well Aware, Takes Twists and Turns ‘Maria Lassnig’ Celebrates the Artist at MoMA PS1
By Karen Rosenberg, March 27, 2014
The New York Times

Maria Lassnig’s show at MoMA PS1 begins with a standoff. In a large self-portrait from 2005, the artist brandishes two guns: one is pointed at her own head, the other at the viewer. The title of this anxiety-inducing work is “You, or Me?”

It’s the perfect jumping-off point for a survey of this 94-year-old Austrian, whose approach to the figure is simultaneously introverted and extroverted. She paints in an exuberant, expressive style, unleashing gestural energy on the canvas while remaining carefully attuned (if you take her word for it) to the action inside her brain and under her skin.

In 1948 she coined the term “body awareness” to describe her science of the self, which she has pursued for more than half a century even as portraiture, and figurative painting in general, has fallen in and out of fashion. (Last summer, she won the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 55th Venice Biennale.) “Maria Lassnig” shapes this long and remarkable career into a tightly edited survey, though it makes you wish, at times, for more depth. It’s weighted toward recent work, of the sort seen at the Biennale and at Ms. Lassnig’s New York gallery, Friedrich Petzel.

Continued (with images from the exhibition), The New York Times


Maria Lassnig, Austrian, (1919-2014)
b. September 8, 1919, Kappel am Krappfeld
d. 2014

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