New York Diary: Maria Lassnig: New York Films 1970–1980 at MoMA PS1

Kopf. c. 1976. USA. Directed by Maria Lassnig. Courtesy of the Maria Lassnig Foundation. © 2018 Maria Lassnig Foundation

I am not familiar with the artist Maria Lassnig, but when I read there's an exhibition featuring her experimental films, I decided to visit and learn about a new artist. The screenings were shown in a dedicated screening area in MoMPA PS1 with cinema seating. The exhibition ends on 18th June 2018.

MoMA PS1 presents the world premiere of a series of experimental films the artist Maria Lassnig made in New York City in the 1970s. This presentation focuses on a selection of newly discovered and restored films that examine ways of looking and seeing bound up in bodily sensation. Newly restored by the Maria Lassnig Foundation in close collaboration with the Austrian Film Museum, these films incorporate animation, sound, and poetic voiceovers that encourage entry into the artist’s internal world.

Maria Lassnig: New York Films 1970–1980 highlights both finished films and film fragments, all produced using 16mm, 8mm, and Super 8, comprised of live action footage, animated drawings, animated paper cut-outs, and documentary footage of the artist’s studio and her surroundings in New York. These newly surfaced films enrich and complicate our understandings of Lassnig's approach to figuration and self-portraiture, as well as other key themes that she investigated throughout her career, including the social roles assigned to women, the tension between public engagement and private seclusion, and questions of technological advancement, especially of imaging technologies and shifts in the way images circulate. 

Read this Observer interview with MoMA PS1 assistant curator Jocelyn Miller who worked hard over the past few years to bring us this exhibition.