Maria Lassnig

Kappel, Carinthia 1919 - 2014 Vienna

Born between the two world wars in a Carinthian farmhouse, the career aspiration of becoming a painter was initially outside the realms of possibility. Her talent was recognized early on and also fostered by drawing lessons, but she still had to become a teacher first, the only decent profession for a woman at the time. Between 1941 and 1943 Maria Lassnig studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna with Ferdinand Andri and Herbert Boeckl, among others. In 1945 she got her first studio in Klagenfurt, which became a venue for painters and poets. Her paintings from this period are strongly influenced by Carinthian Colorism. Lassnig's artistic path led her via Paris, New York, Berlin back to Vienna. Despite all the exciting diversity, there is a basic and main theme in her art, the awareness of body feelings, which she herself called "bodyawareness". Today Maria Lassnig is not only considered the greatest Austrian painter of this century, but also one of the most important and independent artists ever. Her bulkiness and uncompromisingness are signs of her quality.