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 Hermann Nitsch  (1938 - )

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Lived/Active: Austria      Known for: actionist, performance art

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Born 1938, Vienna, Austria
Lives and works in Austria   
1957  Creates the concept of the Orgies Mysteries Theater, a six-day
event that continues to captivate him throughout his career.
1960-66  Actions and exhibitions resulting in various court trials and three
prison sentences, Vienna, Austria
1989     Teacher at the Academy of Visual Arts, Frankfurt
2010  Hermann Nitsch, Musée d'Art Moderne de Saint-Étienne, France (Forthcoming)
  Hermann Nitsch Masterpieces of the Duerckheim Collection, Museumszentrum, Mistlebach, Austria
2009  The Past, the Present, and the Disciples of Nitsch, Box Art Galleria d’Arte, Verona, Italy
  Hermann Nitsch, Galleria Dant’Agostino Casa d’Aste, Turin, Italy  
  Dirimart Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey
  Works of the 56. Action Painting by Hermann Nitsch, Museumszentrum Mistlebach, Austria
2008  Form as Strategy, Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture, Columbia University, New York
  Opening, Museo Archivio Laboratorio Hermann Nitsch, Naples, Italy
2007  The Orgies Mysteries Theater, Galleria de' Foscherari, Bologna, Italy (Catalogue)
  Galerie beaumontpublic + königbloc, Luxembourg (Catalogue)  
  Galeria Box Art in Verona, Italy.  Curated by Dr. Danilo Eccher. (Catalogue)
  Fondazione Morra, Naples, Italy  
  Selected Works, 1960 – Present, Hermann Nitsch Museum, Museums Zentrum Mistelbach, Mistelbach, Austria (Catalogue)
2006  Hermann Nitsch: New Paintings and Video, Mike Weiss Gallery, NY
  Retrospective, Nationalgalerie Staaliche Museen zu Berlin, Germany (Catalogue)
  Spac Villa Toppoflorio, Undine, Italy  
  Hermann Nitsch / Yango Shaobin, Alexanger Ochs – White Space, Beijing; Alexander Ochs, Berlin
2005  The Orgies Mysteries Theater, The Station Museum, Houston, TX (Catalogue)
2004  New Paintings, Mike Weiss Gallery, New York, NY (Catalogue)
2003  Art Scarplin, Merano, Italy
  Fondazione Morra, Naples, Italy
  Sammlung Essl, Klosterneuburg, Germany
2002   Fondazione Morra, Naples, Italy
  Gallery Fortlaan, Ghent, Belgium
2001  Oberes Belevedere, Vienna, Austria
  Hürlimannareal, Zürich, Switzerland
  Haburger Bahnhof, Berlin, Germany
2000  Palazzo Steline, Milan, Italy
  Galleria Communale D’Arte Moderna e Contemoranea, Rome, Itlay
1999  Mumok, Vienna, Austria
  Kiscelli Museum, Budapest, Hungary
1998  Galerie Frank Hänel, Frankfurt, Germany
1997  Retrospective, Konsthallen Göteborg, Sweden
  Retrospective, Musée D’Art et D’Histoire, Luxembourg
  St. Peter an der Sperr, Wiener Neustadt, Austria  
  Galerie Beaumont, Luxembourg
  Neue Galerie der Stadt, Linz, Austria
  Underwoodstreet Gallery, London, England
  Kunstraum, Innsbruck, Austria
  Galerie Prantl, Oberlech, Austria
1996  Galerie Stefania Miscetti, Rome, Italy
  Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Wörlen, Passau, Germany
  Palazzo delle Exposizioni, Retrospective, Rome, Italy  
  Kunstverein Gmunden, Hipp-Halle, Austria
  Retrospective, Sala Parpalló, Valencia, Spain
  Malaktion U. Ausstellung, Schömerhaus, Klosterneuburg, Austria
  Galerie Giuseppe Morra, Fondazione Morra, Naples, Italy
  Retrospective, Casal Solleric, Palma de Mallorca, Spain
1995  Retrospektivausstellung, Künstlerhaus, Vienna, Austria
  Galerie Barlach, Halle-K, Hamburg, Germany
    Ausstellung und Aktion in der Trinitatiskirche, Köln, Germany
2010  New Acquisitions, Musée d'Art Moderne de Saint-Étienne, France (Forthcoming)
2009  An Open Window on the World of Art, Galleria Civica D’Arts Moderna e Contemporanea, Turin, Italy
  Stations of the Cross, De Pont Museum of Contemporary Art, Tilburg, Netherlands
2008  Five Year Anniversary Show, Mike Weiss Gallery, New York, NY  
  Ebb and Flow, Mike Weiss Gallery, New York, NY
2006  Eye on Europe: Prints, Books and Multiples / 1960 to Now, The Museum of Modern Art, New York
  Twice Drawn, Tang Museum, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York
  Realm of the Spirit, Mike Weiss Gallery, New York, NY
  Reverence, Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, Peekskill, NY
  Intensive Painting, Galerie Bertrand & Gruner, Geneva, Switzerland
  Hermann Nitsch and Erika Schmied, Galerie 422 Margund Lössl, Gmunden, Austria
2005  Entourage, Mike Weiss Gallery, New York, NY
2004  Site Santa Fe Biennial, Site Santa Fe, Santa Fe, NM
  Tango, Mike Weiss Gallery, New York, NY
2003  Good Morning Balkan, Athens, Greece
2000  Paradise Lost, Stephansstift, Hannover, Germany
  Faith, The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, CN
  6 Views of the 6-Day-Play, Video Presentation, Barnsdall Art Park Gallery Theater, Los Angeles, CA
1999  White Box Gallery, New York, NY
1998  Out of Actions—Between Performance and the Object, 1949-1979, MoCA, Los Angeles, CA
  Beyond the Pink, Video Presentation, Art Center, Pasadena, CA  
1997  Die Epoche der Moderne, Kunst im 20. Jhdt., Martin Gropius Bau,
Berlin, Germany
  Sinnlicher Sommer, Künstlerhaus, Vienna, Austria
  Body, The Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
  Institute of Contemporary Art, London, England
1996  Artisti Austriaci a Roma, Palazzo Braschi, Rome, Italy
  Malerei in Österreich 1945-95, Künstlerhaus, Vienna, Austria
  Mysterium Wein, Historisches Museum der Pfalz, Speyer, Germany
  Chaos, Wahnsinn, Kunsthalle Krems, Krems, Germany
  L’Art au Corps, Musée D’Art Contemporain, Marseille, France
  Tight: Sphincteric Arhatship, Tans-Hudson Gallery, New York,
Knoxville, TN. Traveling exhibition
1995  Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  Kunsthalle, Budapest, Hungary
  L’Art Contemporain Autrichien, Rouen, Caen, France
1994  Malfiguren, Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna, Austria
  Hors Limits, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France
1994  L’ Incanto e la Transcendenza, Castel Ivano, Trento, Italy
  Il Paese Della Meraviglie e le Tavole Della Legge, Castello di Volpaia, Volpaia, Italy  
1993  Akademie Der Künste, Berlin, Germany
1992  Casula, Kunststation St. Petri, Köln, Germany
1991  Liljevalchs Konsthall, Stockholm, Sweden
1990  Gegenwart-Ewigkeit , Gropiusbau, Berlin, Germany
1989  Luhring Augustine & Hodes, New York, NY
1988  Teilnahme an der Biennale, Sydney, Australia
  Luhring Augustine & Hodes, New York, NY
1987  Hirschhorn Museum, Washington, DC
1986  Austrian Drawing, Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, Chicago, IL  
  Rennweg, Sala Pablo Ruiz Picasso, Madrid, Spain
  Dal Profondo, Padiglione D’Arte Contemoranea, Milan, Italy
  Beuys zu Ehren, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich, Germany
1985  Brus, Rainer, Nitsch, Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York, NY
1983  Der Hang zum Gesamtkunstwerk, Ausstellung von
HaraldSzeemann u. a., Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna, Austria
1982     Documenta VII, Kassel, Germany
1980      69th Action (3 hours), New York Art Fair, New York, NY
1972  Documenta V, Kassel, Germany
  39th Action (2 hours), Everson Museum, Syracuse, New York, NY
  40th Action (first 12 hour action), Mercer Arts Center, New York, NY
  58th Action (2 hours), Western Front Society, Vancouver, Canada
  59th Action (2 hours), Laica and SSB, Los Angeles, CA
1970  Happening und Fluxus, Kunstverein, Köln, Germany
  33rd Action (2 hours), Douglas College, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ  
  34th Action (2 hours), New York State University, Binghampton, New York, NY
MoMA, New York
Guggenheim, New York
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
Eileen S. Kaminsky Family Foundation, New York
Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, Peekskill, NY
The Richard Massey Foundation, New York
Yale University; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto
Tate Gallery, London  
Musée Centre George Pompidou, Paris
Stedelijk Van Abbe Museum, Eindhoven
Castello di Rivoli, Turin
Sammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf
Museum Ludwig Köln Lenbachhaus, Munich
Nationalgalerie, Munich
Graphische Sammlung, Munich
Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart
Kunsthalle, Hamburg
Museum Neue Galerie, Saarbrücken
Schloss Moorsbroich, Leverkusen
Museo Capodimonte, Naples
Kunstmuseum, Bern
Kunstmuseum, Winterthur
Museum Moderner Kunst-Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna
Wolfgang Gurlitt Museum, Linz
Rupertinum, Salzburg
Ferdinandeum, Innsbruck
Sammlung Essl, Klosterneuburg
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
Galleria D’Arte Moderna, Bologna
The Marino Golinelli Collection, Italy  

Mike Weiss Gallery

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Hermann Nitsch is an Austrian actionist or performance artist who works in experimental and multimedia modes, and has become so controversial that he has been repeatedly charged with criminal acts and even condemned to prison.

He was born in Vienna, and received training in painting during the time he studied at the Wiener Graphische Lehr-und Versuchanstalt.  He is associated with the Vienna Actionists, and like them conceived his art outside traditional categories of genre.  Nitsch's abstract splatter paintings, like his performance pieces, established a theme of controlled violence, using bright reds, maroons, and pale greys that communicate organic mutilation.  In the 1950s, Nitsch conceived of the Orgien Mysterien Theater (which roughly translates as "Theatre of Orgies and Mysteries"), staging nearly 100 performances between 1962 and 1998.

Nitsch's work, which can be considered both ritualistic and existential, first drew attention in the early 1960s when he exhibited a skinned and mutilated lamb.  The lamb was crucified against a white fabric-covered wall, with the entrails removed and displayed below a white table, splashed with blood and hot water. This was accompanied by Nitsch's "Geräuschmusik". Nitsch's subsequent work has incorporated many similar elements, often combining slaughtered animals, red fruits, music, dancing, and active participants.  Nitsch juxtaposed slaughtered animal intestines with quasi-religious icons such as staged crucifixions, satirizing and questioning the moral ethics of atavistic religion and sacrifice.

Currently his work is often discussed in the context of our culture's fixation with violence seen on the news, movie screens, and in popular video games. Correlations have also been drawn to many instances of the intersection of violence and culture.3 These performance works, which have become known as "actions" have become more and more elaborate over the years. This highly elaborate work is exemplified by the 6-Day Play, which Nitsch considered to be his pinnacle piece.

In 1998, Nitsch staged his 100th performance (named the 6-Day Play after its length) which took place at his castle in Austria, Schloss Prinzendorf. In 2004, he held an abbreviated (2-day) version of the work.

By 1995 Nitsch had been so sufficiently embraced by the establishment, that the Vienna State Opera invited him to direct and design the sets and costumes for Jules Massenet's opera Hérodiade.

Nitsch continues to publish articles and release CDs.
In 2009 Nitsch was the central guest of the Incubate festival in Tilburg, Netherlands.

Wikipedia/Hermann Nitsch

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