MARIA LASSNIG—NEW YORK FILMS 1970–1980—restored by the Maria Lassnig Foundation and the Austrian Film Museum—comprise live-action and documentary footage, and “enrich and complicate our understandings of Lassnig’s approach to figuration and self-portraiture, as well as other key themes that she investigated throughout her career, including the social roles assigned to women, the tension between public engagement and private seclusion, and questions of technological advancement, especially of imaging technologies and shifts in the way images circulate.” (New York Diary)
These films were largely never finished, nor shown in the artist’s lifetime, which perhaps accounts for their frankness, a type of elucidate meditation on the artistic process, life in the studio, and the psychologies, lives, and bodies of Lassnig’s friends and colleagues. As such, the films of this period become essential to understanding the shift within Lassnig’s practice, which occurred around 1970 following the artist’s move to New York from Vienna in 1968, to be “in the country of strong women.”* Shifting her focus from the personal to that of the body and its relations, her reaction to the sensory overload of Manhattan was not so much an abandonment of an earlier practice of “body sensation” drawings and the subsequent “body awareness” paintings, but rather a redefinition of a transposed body within a cultural and civic environment.** — Mary L. Coyne
Friday, December 6, at 12:15 pm.
Mühlebachstrasse 2, Zürich.
*Maria Lassnig, The Pen is the Sister of the Brush: Diaries 1943-1997, edited by Hans Ulrich Obrist (Göttingen: Steidl; Zürich: Hauser and Wirth, 2009).
**Wolfgang Dreschler, “About the intimate link between the pained and the painter,” in Maria Lassnig (Vienna: Museum moderner Kunst, Ludwig Foundation, 1999).
Maria Lassnig, from top: Kopf (circa 1976); Stonelifting: A Self Portrait in Progress (1971–1974) (2); Moonlanding / Janus Head (1971–1972). Images courtesy and © the Maria Lassnig Foundation.