Overview

I want only to show what is. I never was interested to make provocation. I want to show intensity. And let’s say, maybe in intensity is a kind of provocation, but for me [it] always is important to show life and to celebrate life.

As one of the founders of the Wiener Aktionismus (Viennese Actionism) movement, Hermann Nitsch is known today internationally for his Schüttbilder (a variant of dripping developed by the Actionists) and for the organisation of actions inspired by the happenings and performances of Fluxus.

Biography

The question of the development of art is also a question of society. In Vienna, it was very conservative. We wanted to make a new art—new expressions of art—in an art world that was, for us, traditional. Abstract expressionism was happening, a new form of art that was very important for us. I would say that’s what moved us together.

Hermann Nitsch, born in Vienna in 1938, is an Austrian avant-garde artist who works in experimental and multimedia modes. He received training in painting when studied at the Wiener Graphische Lehr-und Versuchanstalt, during which time he was drawn to religious art. He is the crucial founder of Viennese Actionism and is regarded as one of the most versatile contemporary artists: action performer, painter, composer (symphonies, organ concerts), and set designer. His synthesis of the arts, the Theatre of Orgies and Mysteries, encompasses the broad spectrum of his art by calling on all five senses – the tragic leads us to becoming involved with flesh, blood and intestines. 

 

Nitsch lives and works at Prinzendorf Castle in Austria, as well as in Asolo, Italy. His works are exhibited in the two Nitsch Museums in Mistelbach and Naples as well as in the Nitsch Foundation in Vienna, in addition to international museums.

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