In the 1950s she was part of the Hundsgruppe, which also included Arnulf Rainer, Ernst Fuchs, Anton Lehmden, Arik Brauer and Wolfgang Hollegha. The works of the group were influenced by Abstract Expressionism and action painting.
She represented Austria, with Valie Export, at the Venice Biennale in 1980, and has twice exhibited at documenta. In 1996 a retrospective of her work was held at the Centre Georges Pompidou. For the season 2005/2006 in the Vienna State Opera she designed the large scale picture (176 m2) "Breakfast with Ear" as part of the exhibition series "Safety curtain", conceived by museum in progress. In 2008 an exhibition of her recent paintings was shown at the Serpentine Gallery which also travelled to the Contemporary Arts Center in the Lois & Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati, (2009). The exhibition was curated by Julia Peyton-Jones and Hans Ulrich Obrist in association with Rebecca Morrill and featured thirty canvases and seven films.
Lassnig's recent solo exhibitions include, 'It's art that keeps one ever young', Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich, Germany, (2010) and 'Maria Lassnig. Films’, Friedrich Petzel Gallery, New York NY, (2011).
Lassnig is represented by Hauser & Wirth.
Honours and awards
- Austrian Art Award for Visual Arts (1975)
- City of Vienna Prize for Visual Arts (1977)
- Grand Austrian State Prize for Visual Arts (1988)
- Oskar Kokoschka Prize (1998)
- Roswitha Haftmann Prize (2002)
- Rubens Prize of Siegen (2002)
- Max Beckmann Prize of Frankfurt (2004)
- Austrian Decoration for Science and Art (2005)
- Nach 1970: österrichische Kunst aus der Albertina. Albertina. 2008. p. 305.
- Karl Ruhrberg, Manfred Schneckenburger, Ingo F. Walther, Klaus Honnef, Christiane Fricke, Art of the 20th Century: Painting, Taschen, 2000, p379. ISBN 3-8228-5907-9
- Laurie Attias, Maria Lassnig, Frieze, May 1996.
- Douglas Crow in Ernst Grabovszki, James N. Hardin, Literature in Vienna at the Turn of the Centuries, Boydell and Brewer, 2003, p166. ISBN 1-57113-233-3
- "Reply to a parliamentary question" (pdf) (in German). p. 1682. Retrieved 28 November 2012.
- Laura Cumming, A stunning body of work, The Observer, April 27, 2008