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MoMA PS1 presents the first comprehensive American survey of Maria Lassnig
Maria Lassnig, Transparentes Selbstporträt (Transparent Self-Portrait), 1987. Oil on canvas, 125 x 100 cm.

LONG ISLAND CITY, NY.- MoMA PS1 presents the most comprehensive survey of painter Maria Lassnig (Austrian, b. 1919) organized in the United States. The presentation includes over seventy major works spanning almost seven decades, most of which are being exhibited for the first time in the U.S. Organized by Peter Eleey, Maria Lassnig includes 55 paintings, 14 works on paper, and 4 filmic works, and will be on view at MoMA PS1 through May 25, 2014.

Lassnig is one of the most important contemporary painters living today, and is a pioneer in many areas of art. Emphatically refusing to make “pictures,” she has long focused on ways of representing her internal world. Using the term “body awareness,” Lassnig has regularly tried to paint the way her body feels to her from the inside, rather than attempting to depict it from without. Throughout a remarkable career that has spanned more than 70 years, Lassnig has continued to create work that vulnerably explores the way she comes into contact with the world, often placing particular emphasis upon the disjunctions between her own self-image and the way she is seen by others – as a woman, as a painter, as a thinker, and as a person living through the dramatic technological and cultural developments that have marked the century of her lifetime. Bravely exposing personal traumas, fantasies and nightmares, Lassnig’s art offers instruction for courageous living in a time of increasingly spectacularized social interaction.

The exhibition presents works by the artist from all creative periods of her career, including her early involvement with graphic abstraction and Art Informel in Paris, and her shift to figural representation that occurred during the period she spent in New York, where she lived and worked from 1968 until 1980 before returning to her native Austria to become the first female painting professor in any German-speaking country.

Maria Lassnig was born in Kappel am Krappfeld, Carinthia, Austria in 1919, and currently lives and works in Vienna. She studied at the Academy for Applied Arts in Vienna, and subsequently in New York at the School of Visual Arts. From 1980-1997, she was Chair at the Academy for Applied Arts in Vienna. She has had numerous solo exhibitions, including those most recently at Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Ghent; Deichtorhallen, Hamburg (2013); Neue Galerie Graz – Universalmuseum Joanneum, Graz; SBC Galerie d’Art Contemporain, Montreal (2012); Lenbachhaus, Munich (2010); MuMOK, Vienna; Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2009); Sammlung Essl, Klosterneuberg (2005); Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Siegen; Bayerische Akademie der Schönen Künste, Munich (2002); Kestner Gesellschaft, Hannover (2001); Museum moderner Kunst Stuftung Ludwig, Vienna; FRAC Pays de la Loire, Nantes; and the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Nantes (1999).

Her work has also been shown in several important international group exhibitions, including the Venice Biennale 2013, 55th International Art Exhibition, Venice (2013); Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humblebaek (2012); Essl Museum, Klosterneuberg; Städel Museum, Frankfurt; Austrian Cultural Forum, New York (2011); Staatliche Kunsthalle, Baden-Baden; 8th Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju, Korea; SITE Santa Fe, New Mexico; Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna (2010); Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver (2009); Klagenfurt Museum of Modern Art, Carinthia; MoMA PS1, New York; The Albertina, Vienna; Museum of Contemporary Art, Leipzig; 55th Carnegie International, Pittsburgh (2008); Kunste-Werke Institut, Berlin; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2007); MoMA PS1, New York; Kunsthaus Graz, Graz (2006); Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven; Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin (2005); Kunsthalle Zurich, Zurich; Haus der Kunst, Munich; 50th Venice Biennale, Venice; Fondation Beyeler, Basel (2003); Documenta X, Kassel (1997); Documenta VII, Kassel (1982); and the 39th Venice Biennale, Venice (1980).

She has received many honors, most recently the distinguished Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 55th Venice Biennale (2013). She has also been the recipient of the Max Beckmann Prize from the city of Frankfurt am Main (2005); the Rubens-Award of the City of Siegen, as the first ever female recipient of the prize; the Roswitha Haftmann Prize, Zurich; Ring of Honour at the University of Applied Arts, Vienna (2002); Norddeutsche Landesbank Award (2001); Oskar Kokoschka Prize, Vienna (1998); Grand Austrian State Prize, as the first female recipient (1988); and the New York State Council Award for her animated film Self Portrait (1972).

Organized by Peter Eleey, Curator and Associate Director of Exhibitions and Programs, MoMA PS1, with Jocelyn Miller, Curatorial Assistant, MoMA PS1; in collaboration with the Neue Galerie Graz – Universalmuseum Joanneum.

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