Symposium | 100th Birthday of Maria Lassnig

A full century after the artist Maria Lassnig was born, her oeuvre has lost none of its currency—as is shown by a variety of exhibition projects, acquisitions of her works by international museums, and the academic study of her creative output along with the interest taken in her especially by a younger generations of artists, filmmakers.

Not only can the appropriation, further development, and cultural transfer of certain trends in art be traced back to her, but there is also the matter of how Maria Lassnig harnessed the tensions between abstraction and figuration as a productive factor in her work, driving forward her coloristic and corporeal-painterly research over a period of many decades.

This symposium seeks to anchor Maria Lassnig’s oeuvre within the present-day discourse, call attention to less-known areas of her activities, and also point out the relevance of Lassnig’s works to—and their continued usefulness as starting points for—contemporary practices.


Hall of the Muses, Albertina Museum
Registration required

  • 2 p.m. | Words of greeting: Klaus Albrecht Schröder, Director General of the ALBERTINA Museum, Vienna
  • 2.15 p.m. - 3.45 p.m. | Lecture & Discussion Silvia Eiblmayer & Claire Hoffmann
    Moderation: Antonia Hoerschelmann, curator of the Albertina Museum’s Maria Lassnig retrospective
    Silvia Eiblmayr (art historian and curator, Vienna) deals in her lecture with the staging of the gaze in Maria Lassnig’s works. Building on this will be a discussion with Claire Hoffmann (curator at the Centre culturel Suisse, Paris and a doctoral candidate at eikones – Center for the Theory and History of the Image at the University of Basel), whose topic “Über zeichnerische Verfahren des Nachdenkens” [On Drawing-Based Contemplative Processes] focuses on Maria Lassnig’s graphic output.
  • Coffee break
  • 4.15 p.m. – 5.45 p.m. | Lecture & Discussion Michio Hayashi & Ann Temkin
    Moderation: Peter Pakesch, Board Chairman, Maria Lassnig Foundation
    Starting from Maria Lassnig’s oeuvre, lecturer Michio Hayashi (professor of art history at Sophia University, Tokyo) will address fundamental issues of painting and subsequently discuss these with Ann Temkin (Chief Curator of Painting and Sculpture, Museum of Modern Art, New York). 
  • 6.30 p.m. | Catherine David discusses Maria Lassnig with Robert Fleck
    Catherine David (Deputy Director of the Musée National d’art Moderne at the Centre Pompidou) was artistic director of documenta X in Kassel from 1994 to 1997. David was the first woman to curate a documenta exhibition, and her tenure included the presentation of works by Maria Lassnig—who had first seen her works shown at an edition of documenta in 1982. Robert Fleck is an art critic and exhibition curator as well as a prorector and teaching staff member at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf; he had maintained contact with Maria Lassnig since 1977 in connection with exhibition projects and written works.

Registration required

Special guided tours through the Albertina Museum exhibition Maria Lassnig. Ways of Being.

  • 10.30 a.m. | Antonia Hoerschelmann & Daniela Hammer-Tugendhat
    Tour with Antonia Hoerschelmann, Curator for Modern and Contemporary art and of the exhibition Maria Lassnig. Ways of Being together with Daniela Hammer-Tugendhat, honorary professor of art history at the University of Applied Arts Vienna, pioneer of feminist art historiography
  • 12.00 p.m. | Natalie Lettner, art historian, author of the Maria Lassnig biography


3 p.m. – 10.30 p.m. | In English

A registration to the lecutres and film program of the symposium is possible from 16 October on the website of the Austrian Film Museum. For the film program, the regular ticket price of the Film Museum applies; a solidarity contribution of EUR 1 is payable for attending the lectures.

The second part of the symposium to mark what would have been the hundredth birthday of Maria Lassnig will take place at the Austrian Film Museum and be devoted to the films that Maria Lassnig created between 1970 and 1980 in New York, in which she realized her overarching theme of self-portraiture and body awareness.

Moderation and film program: Stefanie Proksch-Weilguni, doctoral candidate at eikones – Center for the Theory and History of the Image at the University of Basel, whose dissertation Maria Lassnigs Erweiterung feministischer Körperkunst im Verhältnis mit der Künstlerinnengruppe der Women/Artist/Filmmakers in New York (1968-1980) [Maria Lassnig’s Expansion of Feminist Body Art as it Related to the Women Artists’ Group Women/Artist/Filmmakers in New York (1968–1980)] focuses on Maria Lassnig’s filmic output.

  • 3 p.m. | Words of greeting: Michael Loebenstein, Director, Austrian Film Museum
  • 3.15 p.m. |  Herb Shellenberger, film curator and Associate Programmer of the Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival, speaks about the independent animated film scene in the US during the 1970s and 1980s.
  • 4 p.m. | Film screening (free admission) Herstories. Unabhängige Animationsfilme [Herstories. Independent Animated Films] With films by Maria Lassnig, George Griffin, Mary Beams, Suzan Pitt, and Lisa Crafts, Total duration: 49 min.
  • 5 p.m. | James Boaden, lecturer at the Department of History of Art at the University of York, speaks about the research done so far on Maria Lassnig’s experimental films in the context of US avant-garde filmmaking.
  • 6:30 p.m. | Film screening* Körper trifft Kamera. Filme der Women/Artist/Filmmakers, Inc. [Body Meets Camera. The Films of Women/Artist/Filmmakers Inc.|] With films by Maria Lassnig, Carolee Schneemann, Rosalind Schneider, Martha Edelheit, Olga Spiegel, and Silvianna Goldsmith, Total duration: 69 min, Introduction by Stefanie Proksch-Weilguni (The University of Vienna and eikones – Center for the Theory and History of the Image at the University of Basel)
  • 9 p.m. | Film screening*
    Maria Lassnig: Films, 1970–1992
    Encounter: AT/USA, 1970, 1 min., 16 mm
    Self-Portrait: AT/USA, 1971, 5 min., 16 mm
    Chairs: AT/USA, 1971, 2 min., 16 mm
    Iris: AT/USA, 1971, 10 min., 16 mm
    Couples: AT/USA, 1972, 10 min., 16 mm
    Shapes: AT/USA, 1972, 9 min., 16 mm
    Palmistry: AT/USA, 1974, 10 min., 16 mm
    Art Education: AT/USA, 1976, 8 min., 16 mm
    Baroque Statues: AT/USA, 1970–1974, 15 min., 16 mm
    Maria-Lassnig-Kantate: Koregie Hubert Sielecki, AT, 1992, 8 min., 35 mm
    Total duration: 78 min.

Première of the new 16mm film copies from the Maria Lassnig Foundation in collaboration with sixpickfilm. This program will be repeated on 17 and 24 November as well as on 1 December 2019 (at 4:30 p.m. on all dates). For reservations and information, please see:  *For the film screenings at 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m., the ticketing rules of the Austrian Film Museum apply.

Organized by the Albertina Museum in cooperation with the Austrian Film Museum, the Maria Lassnig Foundation, and the University of Vienna

Maria Lassnig | Kartoffelpresse, 1989 | Albertina, Wien. Sammlung Batliner © Maria Lassnig Privatstiftung
Maria Lassnig | Kartoffelpresse, 1989 | Albertina, Wien. Sammlung Batliner © Maria Lassnig Privatstiftung

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