ADIEU MARIA LASSNIG

“Maria Lassnig died yesterday in her sleep. She was 94 years young; an incredible inspiration for artists, poets, scholars, filmmakers, and art lovers here and in Europe. She ‘inhabited’ her work more than any artist I have ever met. Her paintings were her offspring; she was one with her work, so much so that she didn’t like to part with her paintings when an exhibition was planned. She literally felt exposed, misunderstood, or worse: ignored. Maria was wary of admiration, suspicious of schmoozing, and yet full of pride when thoughtful articles were published. But even those more serious letters, essays or the award of the Golden Lion in Venice last year triggered a biting sense of self deprecating humor: the “little girl from the countryside” never wanted her age to be a factor in any public judgment of her work. However, younger painters do see and most importantly feel Maria’s rigorous, confident and intimate pictures.

Maria Lassnig loved New York; she wanted to be seen within a community of legendary painters, even if most of the ones she admired had passed away decades ago. About fifty paintings spanning seventy years of Maria’s life can be seen here in New York in a solo exhibition through May 25. Please go and see Maria Lassnig at MoMA PS1.”

– Friedrich Petzel

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