Du Oder Ich Painted By Maria Lassnig: An Analysis - Visual Culture - Essay

826 words - 4 pages

Maria Lassnig was an Austrian painter who’s known for her “body-awareness” type
paintings. She painted a series of self portraits that depicted how she felt on the inside rather than
on the outside. With her use of extremely distorted and abstract figures, she was able to capture
her inner feelings and sensations in regards to her own body. Lassnig was born in 1919 in
Carinthia, Austria and grew up under her grandmother’s care. She eventually moved to Vienna
where she began work and attended the Vienna Fine Arts Academy. She later spent time in Paris,
where she was introduced to abstract expressionism, and New York, where she studied film
animation at the New York School of Visual Arts in the 1970’s. In the following years, she
became the first woman professor of painting at the Vienna University of Applied Arts. In 1980,
Lassnig returned to Austria to accept her award and she served as chair until 1997. Lassnig
worked with all types of media throughout her life including painting, sculpture and animated
film. Maria kept her work private for many years up until 1997 when she published some of her
drawings in ‘Die Feder ist die Schwester des Pinsels’ which means ‘the pen is the sister of the
paintbrush.’ Lassnig has won numerous awards one of which was the Grand Austrian Prize,
which is awarded to an Austrian artist for exceptional work. Many of her pieces were also
featured in solo exhibitions at the Pompidou in Paris (1195) as well as the Museum Ludwig in
Cologne (2009). Although Maria Lassnig died in 2014, her work is still being shown around the
world to this day.
Maria Lassnig’s painting, named ‘​Du Oder Ich​’ (You or Me), caught my eye in The
Twenty First Century Art Book. The painting shows a naked woman, Maria herself, painted in
various oranges and yellow shades with blue and green shadowing in the background. She is
holding two guns- one to her own head and the other to the viewer. ​Du Oder Ich​ was painted in
2005. This painting, along with many of her other pieces, was painted on a primed blank canvas.
According to Frieze.com, Maria said that she did not paint anything in the background because
she did not want to evoke any other feelings or moods. The woman in the painting is the main
focus of the piece. The use of various colors draw ...

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