The exhibition Technical Temptations: The Films of Maria Lassnig showcases the work of an artist who at the age of ninety-two is one of Austria’s most celebrated contemporary artists. Although primarily known for her painting and drawing, Lassnig has also produced a group of experimental time-based works that address her feminist perspectives on the body, love and self. While she has referred to these films as “technical temptations”, they have been recognized for their complexity and sharp humour.
Among the six works presented in the SBC exhibition are Maria Lassnig Kantate (1992), a portrayal of Lassnig’s life – from her early childhood in Austria to her development as an artist in Europe and the United States – which combines a pastiche of rough animation, digital effects and frequent costume changes with a musical narrative that the artist herself performs; Selfportrait (1971), an examination of her struggles with love and relationships in which she laments about not finding an ideal male partner; and Chairs (1971), a two-minute short featuring crudely animated chairs, drawn in pencil and felt-tip markers, that transposes herfascination with the human body into these inanimate objects.
For over sixty years, Lassnig has produced remarkable works of painting, drawing and sculpture. She has developed a singular voice by challenging conventions of portraiture with profoundly introspective work. Lassnig studied at the Academy of Applied Arts in Vienna and the New York School of Visual Arts. Solo exhibitions of Lassnig’s work have taken place at the Serpentine Gallery, Kunstmuseum Dusseldorf; the Stedelijk Museum; the Centre Pompidou in Paris; and the Kunsthaus in Zurich. Lassnig also participated in the 39th Venice Biennale in 1980; Documenta VII in 1982; and Documenta X in 1997. She lives and works in Vienna.