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Press Release

Friedrich Petzel Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of eleven films by Maria Lassnig. The exhibition will run concurrently with a solo exhibition of Maria Lassnig’s works on paper and paintings at the ADAA “The Art Show”: March 1st through 5th at the Park Avenue Armory (between 67th and 68th street), booth D4.

While staying in New York City in the early 1970s, Maria Lassnig completed a series of ten short films. These films plus an eleventh, “Kantate”, completed in 1992, will run in continuum at Friedrich Petzel Gallery through March 26, 2011. Lassnig’s films expand upon her interest in self-representation and often pull from poignant and humorous narratives drawn from her life experiences. Integrating live-action, stop-motion animation and found photography each film combines Lassnig’s unique vision through distorted representations and disjointed abstractions. The films expand upon the singular voice that Lassnig has developed by challenging conventions of portraiture and give us a greater insight to her oeuvre of paintings.

Maria Lassnig’s film from 1992 "Kantate" presents a humorous, semi-autobiographical narrative that outlines the contours of her life: from her Austrian childhood to her development as an artist in Europe and the United States. Lassnig sings the German narration in a faux folk style and changes costume to punctuate the story. The highly personal and expressive film represents what she terms “body-awareness,” positing the body as a conduit to explore the interior worlds of human psychology and emotion.

Numerous retrospectives have been devoted to Maria Lassnig’s paintings and drawings, among them the Lenbachhaus in Munich in 2010, the Museum Moderner Kunst (MUMOK) in Vienna in 2009, the Serpentine Gallery in London in 2008, the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati in 2008, the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam in 1994, and the Centre Pompidou, Paris in 1995.

Maria Lassnig was born in Carinthia, Austria in 1919. She studied at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Vienna. After several stays in Paris in the 1950s and a 12-year residency in New York, she returned to Vienna in 1980 and represented Austria that same year at the Biennale di Venezia. Maria Lassnig received the renowned Max Beckmann award in 2004. For further information, please contact the gallery at, or call (212) 680-9467.