Maria Lassnig (1919 – 2014): Crazy-Good Animator, Okay Painter

by Corinna Kirsch on May 7, 2014 Newswire

Still from Maria Lassnig's "Kantate," 1972.

Still from Maria Lassnig’s “Kantate,” 1972.

Artist Maria Lassnig died yesterday at the age of 94. She was a skilled painter and Golden Lion Lifetime Achievement winner at the 2013 Venice Biennale where her canvases were shown. She’s now heralded as an impressive, expressionist painter, though she was largely ignored outside of continental Europe until the 2000s. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, she had a long career chairing the Academy for Applied Arts, Vienna, where she instituted an animation program; she received a retrospective at the Pompidou Centre in 1996. Currently, MoMA PS1 is showing over 50 of her paintings in an exhibition that will be on view through the end of the month.

Her animated films, though, were lesser known and every bit as important. She did drag (“Kantate,” 1992). She drew dead turkeys (“Couples,” 1972). In her world, communication is a dead-end because nobody listens to one another.

I was lucky enough to see a selection of her films at Petzel in 2011 (back when it was Friedrich Petzel ). For all you dear readers I’ve embedded some of those pieces that’re now available on YouTube. They’re mostly bootleg copies, but that’s better than nothing.

And the brilliant “Kantate,” which you’ll have to check out over on YouTube.

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