Maria Lassnig. – The Future is Invented with Fragments from the Past

Municipal Gallery of Athens

  • 07.04.2017. - 16.07.2017

Simultaneously with documenta 14 in Athens the museum presents the last project that Maria Lassnig was able to plan personally with the curator Hans Ulrich Obrist. In focus are significant works reflecting the artist’s relationship to classical antiquity, mythology and to the extraordinary Greek landscape.

The realization of the show is a result of the fruitful collaboration between the curator of the exhibition, Hans Ulrich Obrist, the Artistic Director of the Municipal Gallery of Athens, Denys Zacharopoulos and the Chairman of the Board of the Maria Lassnig Foundation, Peter Pakesch.

The historic magnitude of the artist Maria Lassnig is being accentuated once more through the interaction with documenta, the most important exhibition series for contemporary art worldwide. Maria Lassnig’s work was already represented at documenta 7 (1982) and documenta X (1997) during her lifetime. Moreover, exhibition curator Hans Ulrich Obrist, companion and friend of Maria Lassnig, is counted among the leading personalities in the art world. And an important contribution comes from the writer Friederike Mayröcker, Lassnig’s confidante of many years – the poetic exhibition title “Die Zukunft wird mit Fragmenten der Vergangenheit erfunden” (trans. “The Future is Invented with Fragments from the Past”).

The diverse loans are being provided by the Maria Lassnig Foundation, a leading supporter of the project, and by important Austrian collections. Around fifty works are on show – paintings and works on paper, especially watercolours – which seize upon motifs from Greek mythology and their expansive and permanent exchange with all Mediterranean civilisations. Although these works by Maria Lassnig are not so well known, they manifest characteristics typical of her work: the awareness of the body, the painterly rendering of the inner and outer world, as well as animal portrayals and landscapes. In an unusual selection from Maria Lassnig’s oeuvre the exhibition spotlights her unique visual idiom, in which she combines science with a subjective emotional life, and Mediterranean landscapes with figures from ancient mythology. The accompanying programme including performances of Lassnig’s film oeuvre and scientific lectures is planned to provide deeper insight into the exhibits with regard to the academic field, and to familiarise the Greek public with them.

(Press release)