Project Description

Hermann Nitsch

” A precursor who change the way to intend the relationships between body, sacred and myths. “


” A precursor who change the way to intend the relationships between body, sacred and myths. “
In a city as Vienna, able to forget the tragedy of the International Conflict and of the Nazism, he developed from  1957 the idea of the Orgien Mysterien Theatre, a six days long festival whose conception is based on the main artist philosophy and that has been developed till today, like a new form of a total work of art where reality is staged and all five senses of the participants are claimed.

The artworks Deposizione dalla Croce (Deposition from Crux) and Tunica dazione (Tunica action)are very significant of this research; otherwise the artwork Untitled is more concentrated on the abstract expressionist painting. In 1960 he performed his first Aktionen (action performances) and exhibitions, which result in several court trials and three prison terms. Therefore he left Vienna and moved to Germany where he lived till 1978. In 1966 he made  the Destruction in art symposium, in London and Vienna, and two years later Cinématheque at New York, the 25th and 26th action; then in University of Cincinnati he performed the 28th action. In the following years Nitsch organized several actions, in New York, Münich and Cologne. In 1971 he has acquired The Prinzendorf Castle and in 1972 he has participated at the Documenta 5 in Kassel, curated by Harald Szeemann; in the same year Nitsch made the first 12-hour-action (40th action) at the Mercer Art Center in New York. In 1973 he founded the “Association for the promotion of the Orgien Mysterien Theater” and two years later the 24-hour 50th action was performed in Prinzendorf Castle. In 1982 he participated at the Documenta 7 in Kassel. The Eighties are characterized by several exhibitions, among them in 1983 at the Stedelijk Van Abbe Museum, Eindhoven and in 1988 at the Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Münich. The Nineties start with the first representation of the n. 8 Symphony at the Museum für Angewandte Kunst in Vienna and during this decade Nitsch’s research was displayed in several Museums: Galleria civica di arte contemporanea, Trieste, Pabellòn de las Artes, Sevilla, National Gallery, Prague, Kunsthalle, Krems and several were the performances too in the entire world. In 2007 was the opening of the Hermann Nitsch Museum in Mistelbach and one year later was the opening of the Museo Archivio Laboratorio per le arti contemporee Hermann Nitsch Napoli by the Fondazione Morra with an Orgien Mystherie Theater exhibition. In the same year the University of Cluj-Napoca gives to Nitsch the Title of Doctor honoris causa. In 2013 the Nitsch research was presented in a great retrospective entitled Sinne und sein – retrospective at Nitsch Museum in Mistelbach and in the same year has been opened the exhibition Performance photography – 1960 to 1979 at the Nitsch Foundation in Vienna.


One of the most important artist , founder of the “Orgien Mysterien Theatre” project, a precursor who change the way to intend the relationships between body, sacred and myths, signing with strong personality the Body Art and the Performance art from 50’s till today.

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