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Pakosta, Florentina - Albertina Vienna

Florentina Pakosta numbers among those artists of her generation who have pursued their art against all resistance from the outside, and the Albertina Museum is devoting a largescale retrospective to Pakosta’s oeuvre in celebration of her 85th birthday. (30.05.2018 - 26.08.2018) From the very beginning, the art of Florentina Pakosta was characterized by political and social commitment, above all with regard to the discrimination against woman that she experienced in the art scene. Having first produced milieu studies in Vienna, she went on to devote herself to human physiognomy and to body language as an expression of gender-coded power relations. It was in a surrealistic manner that Pakosta combined various physiognomies with vices, saws, knives, and toilet seats, even reshaping lips into beaks and having fists spring forth from nuts. She also produced large-format drawings devoted to the study of male grimaces, thereby echoing the work of sculptor Franz Xaver Messerschmidt  In her 1980s series Warenlandschaften [Product Landscapes] and Menschenmassen [Crowds of People], Pakosta addressed the disappearance of the subject in pictures. And since the 1990s, she has worked on abstract compositions reduced to just three colors (Trikolore Bilder). This departure from the representational is Pakosta’s attempt to find a suitable language in which to react to the events of today’s world. Florentina Pakosta stands alongside Maria Lassnig and Valie Export as one of the most important representatives of feministconnoted art in Austria. (Text: Albertina)