LIFE & WORK
Maresy was born on 18 December 1946 as Maria Theresia Heinl in Vienna.
Maresi, as she was called from the beginning, grew up in "Ausseerland", a largely contradictory topos in the heart of Austria where, until the annexation of Austria, a lively cultural life had taken place here. Composers, writers and cultural workers - from Johannes Brahms to Bruno Walter, Jakob Wassermann and Hugo von Hoffmanstal, from Sigmund Freud and Theodor Herzl to Arthur Schnitzler - had found a place here where they could relax, work and communicate with each other. All this changed radically when Hitler's troops annexed Austria in 1938, and the Nazis took over. All of a sudden, the actors changed. Leading Nazis such as Josef Goebbels discovered the Ausseerland as a holiday resort, other Nazis settled here, aryanized in the blink of an eye the mostly Jewish villa property, "culture" was reduced to costumes and local customs. As far the local history before 1945.
Early in her childhood, Maresi showed a high sensitivity for humans, animals and nature around her as well as a talent for drawing. But the environment in which she grew up was anything but conducive. Her father, unfortunate son of an Austrian minister, drank, shot guns at home, and finally killed himself when Maresi was seven years old. Her mother did not feel like raising children, so she delegated the job and threw herself into a lifelong state of party fun. Most people of the Ausseerland went on as if nothing had happened! Only Ernst Kaltenbrunner, who lived in Altaussee until the end of the war, was betrayed and handed over to the US Army, whereas the main responsible for the mass extermination of Jews in Europe Adolf Eichmann, found refuge here after 1945! And as if nothing had happened, many people successfully refused the return of the property "aryanized" in their favor. An injustice that persists to a not inconsiderable extent until today (2018)!
At the age of 17 Maresi could not stand life at home any longer. She went to Graz and enrolled at the local art school. Professor Rudolf Szyszkowitz discovered her talent and included her in his master class in painting, where Maresi spent the three years to graduation. In 1967 she followed Rudolf Szyszkovitz to the Summer Academy Salzburg. In the following years she worked as a stage designer and as a restorer, painted and participated in group exhibitions before she went to Germany in the early 1970s. In Munich, she met Reinhard Schlüter, then a student of economy and civil engineering, who also painted and passionately drew cartoons. Maresi initially worked in a renowned Munich home accessories store, designed bedding collections for "Ludwig Beck am Rathauseck" and began designing handbags, home and fashion accessories. In 1976, the young couple moved with dog and cat into a house with a garden. In 1981, Reinhard set up his own engineering office, and for the first time joint projects were created, including doll houses based on old Munich models and puppets after the portrayals of prominent contemporaries which were successfully sold via showcases in the Munich First Class Hotel Bayerischer Hof. In 1980, Maresi opened a shop in downtown Munich, where she was far ahead of her time with her exceptional handbag models. Soon, stalls were added to Christmas markets. The painting rested, however, only once - in the late 1980s - Maresi attacked a series of large-format images, for which she first used acrylic paints. In the late 1990s, Maresi and Reinhard felt that they had to change something in their lives. Reinhard now drew a daily and a weekly cartoon for a Munich newspaper while he and his office drowned formally in orders and appointments.
In 1998, he drew the line, dissolved his office and worked from then on as a cartoonist, publicist, author and writer for a successful German TV-Latenightshow. Together with Maresi he wrote during this time a number of stage comedies, which partly were broadcasted on TV and played on tour.
In 2005, both decided to live for a while in Maresi's Austrian homeland Ausseerland . For Maresi, who initially refused the proposal, was it a way to find answers to her unresolved childhood issues and early-onset injuries and trauma. Reinhard continued to draw cartoons, wrote one book after another and worked as a freelance author for the Bayerischer Rundfunk. Both moved into a spacious studio apartment in an old villa in Bad Aussee with a magnificent view of the Dachstein. As soon as Maresi had returned to the place of her conflicting childhood, she began artistically to deal with her homeland and it’s history! In addition to paint, painting and drawing tools, canvases and tons of paper, everything was usable for her in the material: old hats and household goods as well as hangers, coats and shoes, scythes, sickles, metal scraps, stones, wire, lumber, driftwood and mummified animal carcasses. Only with difficulty Reinhard could prevent his wife from installing a badger that had died in front of the villa. In the nine years leading up to Maresi's diagnosis of cancer, hundreds of installations, objects, assemblages and sculptures were created, as well as acrylic paintings, watercolors and a few hundred drawings. Almost all of them referred to Ausseerland and its people, their past and present, in one way or another, while their inner message referred to broadly human feelings and behaviors, and thus can be understood throughout the world - especially since most of the works reveal humor and irony.
In 2011, Maresi urged Reinhard to start painting again. It was the first time after almost 40 years. As early as 2013, this resulted in a first joint exhibition, followed by positive press and TV reviews and a 2-hour radio portrait. - But then everything changed. In April 2014, Maresi came to the hospital, a tumor had eaten into her body, but there were no metastases yet. As soon as she was released after three weeks, Reinhard was admitted to the clinic with acute kidney failure. The consequence was clear: for radiotherapy appointments there was a long waiting list in Austria at that time, so both had to go back to Germany (Nuremberg) in June 2014, where Maresi underwent radiotherapy and chemotherapy in the same month.
The nine highly creative years in Aussee were followed by three and a half nonetheless creative years, determined by hospital stays and medical appointments. While Reinhard alternately was writing and painting and participated in exhibitions, Maresy - as she wrote herself from now on - withdrew to drawing: Around 600 drawings, designs and project ideas were created during her illness, which she wanted to implement together with Reinhard under the label "Schlueter & Schlueter" as soon she was able to do so again. But once again, hopes were not fulfilled. In the fall of 2017, Maresy had a bleeding metastasis in her head. It was the death sentence! By the end of January, the doctors were able to stop the inevitable with medication and palliative radiation, on December 18, 2017, her 71st birthday, many, especially young, friends had come to visit. At the beginning of January it looked like it was getting better. On January 29, however, Maresy suddenly had headaches and sensory disturbances. She was driven to the hospital within half an hour. An hour later, she fell asleep and never woke up before passing away easy and painlessly on the evening of February 1, 2018.