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You or Me

Maria Lassnig Austrian

Not on view

Over the course of her long career, Lassnig radicalized the practice of self-portraiture. Her approach is based on what she called "body awareness." Instead of painting what she sees objectively, the artist depicts what she feels, subjectively, representing only those portions of her body that she senses at any given moment. This method results in self-portraits such as the present work, in which the artist’s partial, summarily rendered figure is isolated against an empty background. Created late in Lassnig’s career, You or Me is fraught with psychological tension. The potential for violence is palpable, as the artist holds twin guns, one pointed at her head and the other at us.

You or Me, Maria Lassnig (Austrian, Kappel am Krappfeld, 1919–2014 Vienna), Oil on canvas

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