EXHIBITIONS

Lieselott Beschorner: Im Atem der Zeit [In the Breath of Time]

Until now, Beschorner's work has hardly been seen, which is finally changing.

A text by Sabine B. Vogel.

Lieselott Beschorner, Im Atem der Zeit, Exhibition view, Secession 2022, Foto: Peter Mochi

As early as 1945, Lieselott Beschorner began her studies at the Vienna Academy at Schillerplatz, first with Christian Andersen, then in the Freskoschule of Albert Paris Gütersloh. In 1951 she was accepted into the Vienna Secession as one of the first female artists. Although her 1954 exhibition became a great success, the Viennese artist withdrew in the 1960s – and was forgotten. But she continued to create works over the decades in her self-imposed exile in Vienna’s 18th district – which she is now showing again at the Secession at the age of 93.

Lieselott Beschorner, Im Atem der Zeit, Exhibition view, Secession 2022, Foto: Peter Mochi

Under the poetic title “In the Breath of Time” it has become a small retrospective: In the stairwell it begins with one of her wonderful watercolors from her series “Schichtenbilder” (1963). In the showcase hang her “Gipsreliefs” – a daring title for the delicate cloth handkerchiefs that she works on with watercolor and glittering beads, stiffened with plaster.

 

Beschorner’s main works are the “Puppas,” which she created from 1972-1980 from scraps of fabric and wool. Around 50 of these wall objects were created in three phases, initially the “Bommel” dolls, then torso dolls without arms, and finally the softer ones. She calls them her “guardian spirits”; one is reminded of the work of Louise Bourgeois.

Lieselott Beschorner, Im Atem der Zeit, Exhibition view, Secession 2022, Foto: Peter Mochi

The white clay objects next to them might at first be mistaken for phallic forms; in fact, the “Behuteten Kopffiguren” (2014) are self-portraits. The huddled woolen stockings with textile filling and shoes are great: Beschorner titled it “Group Sex” in 1980 – whether Sarah Lucas was inspired by it? Probably not, because until now Beschorner’s work has hardly been seen, which is finally changing.

Lieselott Beschorner, Beinlust, stocking object, Group sex, c. 1980, textile, c. 100x100x100cm, © Lieselott Beschorner, Wien Museum, Photo: Birgit and Peter Kainz.