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Solo exhibitions at Sotheby's S/2 present works by Renate Bertlmann and Maria Lassnig
Renate Bertlmann, Kaktus (Cactuse), 1999.© Renate Bertlmann.

LONDON.- Sotheby’s announces the inauguration of a new program for S|2 London beginning in April with two solo presentations by the Austrian artists Renate Bertlmann and Maria Lassnig. Both artists are key figures in the current discussions around the re-evaluation of female artists of the post-war period; the upper gallery will feature works by Bertlmann and the lower gallery will display an exhibition of paintings by Lassnig.

The aim of the gallery’s new program is to present the work of artists who may be undervalued by the market, but remain art historically important and influential. The program for 2017 comprises a series of concurrent solo exhibitions - one in the upper gallery, and one in the lower gallery - and includes Li Yuan Chia, Yuko Nasaka, Ibrahim El-Salahi and William Turnbull.

Renate Bertlmann (b. 1943)
A key figure in the feminist art movement of the 70s in Europe, Renate Bertlmann’s work is long overdue for a re-examination. Her practice – which includes performance, photography, painting and sculpture – is as diverse as it is cohesive and enduring. Born in 1943 in Vienna, Bertlmann studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in the same city and went on to lecture there between 1970-1982. Her extensive oeuvre is only partly included in this exhibition, which focuses primarily on her output from the seventies, with contextualising works from both before and after this period. The exhibition aims to reveal the continuing relevance of her creative process in today’s wider discussion surrounding women artists and gender roles in society.

Maria Lassnig (1919-2014)
Lassnig is among the most influential painters of her generation but only in later life her did she begin to receive widespread acclaim. Committed to painting from life, she is best known for her experiments with self-portraiture which embodied her concept of “body awareness painting”, striving to paint what she felt, not only what she could see. ‘The only true reality is my feelings, played out within the confines of my body”, said Lassnig. A friend to André Breton and Paul Celan, Lassnig was associated with the French avant-garde in Paris during the 1950s. In 1968, she moved to New York and only returned to Austria at age 60 in 1980. The year before her death, Lessing represented Austria at the 2013 Venice Biennale for which she was awarded the Golden Lion for lifetime achievement.

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