Maria Lassnig was born on September 8, 1919 in Kappel am Krappfeld, Carinthia. In her young years she lived in Klagenfurt, where she initially wanted to become a primary school teacher, but moved to the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts, where she studied with Ferdinand Andri, Herbert Boeckl, and Wilhelm Dachauer. Shortly after her studies Lassnig moved into a studio in Klagenfurt where she created her first works, surreal embossed figurations. Through her contact with avant-garde artists such as Wolfgang Hollegha, Markus Prachensky, and Arnulf Rainer, her early works show informal tendencies.
1968 Lassnig moved into a studio in New York and experimented in the episode in a much more realistic style working with the techniques of screen printing. In 1980 Lassnig returned back to Vienna, where she held a professorship at the University of Applied Arts until 1997. Lassnig’s works have been presented at numerous exhibitions in the Museum of the 20th century in Vienna, Kunstmuseum Dusseldorf, Kunstmuseum Luzern, Venice Biennale, Biennale of Beijing, Kunsthalle Nürnberg, Carinthian State Gallery, Gallery Hundertmark in Cologne, Galerie Onnasch in Berlin Paris, New York, the Hague, Frankfurt, Zurich, Munich, and Rome. With her individual oeuvre the Austrian painter was seen as one of the most outstanding painters and graphic artists of the postwar period. Maria Lassnig died on May 6, 2014 in Vienna.