Hermann Nitsch

Vienna 1938 - 2022 Mistelbach

Hermann Nitsch was born in Vienna in 1938. He studied at the Federal Education and Research Institute for Graphics in Vienna from 1948 to 1956. Initially, Nitsch worked as a commercial artist, but quickly shifted to painting. The concept of his “Orgien-Mysterien-Theater” was already developed in this time. Also, his first “Schüttbilder” were executed in the 1960s.
The happenings in New York inspired Nitsch, together with Otto Muehl and Adolf Frohner, to organize their own actions. Nitsch’s polarizing works lead to constant conflicts with authorities. Thus, several lawsuits and three jail sentences followed. In 1968, the artist moved to Germany. In 1971, he bought the castle Prinzendorf in Lower Austria, where he has lived ever since.
In 1973, the artist founded the “Verein zur Förderung des O.M. Theaters“. In 1982, he participated in the documenta VII in Kassel. The “6-Tages-Spiel” from 1998 and the “2-Tages-Spiel” from 2004 are special highlights in the life of the artist. The first was put on stage in concert in the Radiokulturhaus Vienna, as well as in Hamburg, Berlin and Bonn.
In 2007, the museum centre of Mistelbach was opened, which displays Nitsch’s works on a third of their area. Likewise, the city of Napoli honored the artist by opening a museum for his works only.
For Nitsch, painting is one of the disciplines of the Orgien-Mystieren-Theater. It is the source of the actions and their outcome at the same time. Hermann Nitsch is regarded as one of the most important Austrian artists and especially influenced the scene of art and culture of Vienna. He died in 2022 in Mistelbach, Austria.