Vienna 1938 - 2022 Vienna
Alongside his paintings in the tradition of the European Informel, Hermann Nitsch is known for his provocative painting performances, the 'Orgies Mysteries Theatre' (Orgien Mysterien Theater). For the artist, this is a new form of 'Gesamtkunstwerk' (holistic art work) in which all five senses of the participants are directly engaged. His performances, which deal with the sensual experience of diverse substances and fluids, brought the artist into recurrent confrontations with the Austrian police authorities after 1963 (including spending several weeks in jail) and caused him to move to Germany in 1968. In 1971, Nitsch purchased the Austrian castle Prinzendorf which became the location for larger scale performances allowing the artist to explore his ideas about music and theatre. One important example is the project 'Drei Tage Spiel' (three day play) performed at Prinzendorf in 1984. Nitsch was represented twice at the documenta in Kassel (1972, 1982). Since the 1990s his work has been exhibited widely, including the National Gallery in Prag, the Kunsthalle Göteborg, the Essl Museum, Klosterneuburg, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Houston and the Martin Gropius Bau in Berlin.