Deeply felt emotions are at the core of the art of Maria Lassnig (1919–2014). Four years after her death, the Kunstmuseum Basel, collaborating with the Albertina in Vienna, honors the artist with a retrospective of her works on paper that brings together ca. 80 of Lassnig’s most affecting drawings and watercolors. Lassnig’s dialogue with the inner and outer worlds, with the complexities of emotion and reality, is especially vivid in her works on paper. A sheltering medium, the drawing becomes a scene of experimentation with spontaneously placed lines and fields of color. It opens up new perspectives and helps the artist chart new themes. Yet despite the intimate quality of graphic art, she tends to lay out her works on paper in monumental and pictorial compositions. Lassnig’s drawings have transcended the idea of the sketch or first draft for an autonomous creative articulation on paper. In the intensity of the draftsmanship, the vibrancy of the individual line as much as the radiance of the watercolor, her graphic art is visibly and palpably of a piece with her painting.
- Maria Lassnig, Dialogue