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Maria Lassnig

Still from Maria Lassnig’s Palmistry, 1973, 16 mm, color, sound, 10 minutes.

Maria Lassnig was celebrated as a painter (and, later, filmmaker) whose intense, uncompromising works spanned six decades, as well as abstraction and figuration. On November 11, 2012, Hans Ulrich Obrist sat down with Lassnig in her studio in Gurkgasse, Vienna, for what would be one of the artist’s final interviews, presented here for the first time.

HANS ULRICH OBRIST: After leaving Vienna for Paris, how did you decide to move to New York in 1968? You told me America helped you, it made you uncomplicated. Did this have to do with New York having “stolen” the avant-garde from Europe after the war, as [art historian] Serge Guilbaut famously described it?

MARIA LASSNIG: Yes. At the time, everyone was jealous. Some of my European friends went over and asked me, “Why don’t you come too? Women have it easier in America.” That worked for me.

HUO: What changed in New York?

ML: It was actually

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