Maria Lassnig (born 1919) is an Austrian artist. Her paintings are an exploration of the body, a central theme which she calls “body awareness”.
In the 1950s she was part of the Hundsgruppe, which also included Arnulf Rainer, Ernst Fuchs, Anton Lehmden, Arik Brauer and Wolfgang Hollegha. The works of the group were influenced by Abstract Expressionism and action painting.
She was the first woman artist to win the Grand Austrian State Prize in 1988, and was awarded the Austrian Cross of Honour for Science and Art in 2005.
She represented Austria, with Valie Export, at the Venice Biennale in 1980, and has twice exhibited at documenta. In 1996 a retrospective of her work was held at the Centre Georges Pompidou. In 2008 an exhibition of her recent paintings was shown at the Serpentine Gallery and tours to the Contemporary Arts Center in the Lois & Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati, Ohio, September 27, 2008-January 11, 2009. The exhibition is curated by Julia Peyton-Jones and Hans Ulrich Obrist in association with Rebecca Morrill and features thirty canvases and seven films.
Her works are held in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art. (wikipedia)