Maria Lassnig’s film Maria Lassnig Kantate integrates live action, animation, and found photography to present 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.
Maria Lassnig was born in Austria in 1919. She studied at the Academy for Applied Arts in Vienna and the New York School of Visual Arts. For over sixty years, Lassnig has produced remarkable works of painting, film, drawing, and sculpture. She has developed a singular voice by challenging conventions of portraiture with profoundly introspective work. Through both abstract and figurative methods, Lassnig creates visual manifestations of complex emotion and physical sensation. In film, the artist expands her interest in self-representation with poignant and humorous narratives drawn from her life experiences. Solo exhibitions of Lassnig’s work have been shown at the Kunstmuseum Düsseldorf; 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.