Hermann Nitsch

1938 born in Vienna
Graduated from the Graphische Lehr- und Versuchsanstalt (graphic training and experimental institute)
1957 Commercial artist, Technical Museum, Vienna
1957 Idea of the Orgien Mysterien Theater
1960 Action and exhibition activity in Vienna, resulting in several trials and three prison sentences
1962 1st action in Vienna
1966 20th action at the Art Symposium, London
1968 Move to Germany
25th and 26th action Cinematheque, New York
1970 Further actions in New York, Munich, Cologne
1971 Purchase of Prinzendorf Castle
1974 50th action (24-hour) in Prinzendorf
1989 Lectureship at the Academy of Fine Arts (Städelschule), Frankfurt am Main
Class for painting, Salzburg Summer Academy

1984 Austrian Art Prize for Fine Arts
1988 Prize of the City of Vienna for Fine Arts
2004 Lower Austrian Award for Art and Culture
2005 Grand Austrian State Prize for Fine Arts
Gold Medal of Honour of the Federal Capital Vienna
2009 Honorary Citizen of the City of Pogradec, Albania

HERMANN NITSCH Orgies Mysteries Theatre

Nitsch's early work is in the tradition of the old masters and is entirely dominated by religious motifs. At the end of the 1950s, Nitsch developed the concept of the "Orgien Mysterien Theater" (Orgies Mysteries Theatre), with which he linked to the theory of the Gesamtkunstwerk (total work of art), which encompasses painting, music and architecture.
In the process, the existence of human existence was to be brought to heightened awareness through a differentiated psychoanalytical observation.
His painting developed out of this concept and under the influence of "action painting", which integrates the picture surface as the field of action of a gestural event.
The pigment of blood of the early works is later replaced by acrylic and the artist turns to the broad spectrum of colour.


2008, Aryl on jute, 200 x 150 cm


2000, acrylic on jute, painting shirt, 200 x 300 cm


2009, acrylic on canvas, 100 x 80 cm



2021 Group exhibitions: "Odore - L'art, L'Odeur, e le Sacré", Galerie Pauline Pavec, Paris
2020 "The Beginning. Art in Vienna from 1945-1980", Albertina Modern
2018 "Hermann Nitsch - Rooms of Colour", Albertina, Vienna
2018 Group exhibitions: "Doppelleben", mumok, Vienna
2017 "Organ Concert", Marc Straus Gallery, New York
2017 "Hermann Nitsch and his Artistic Pilgrimage", UM museum, Bongdam Uhwaseong Korea
2015 S E R V I C E - "ExistenzFest. Hermann Nitsch and the Theatre", Theatermuseum, Vienna.
My Body is the Event. Viennese Actionism and International Performance, MUMOK, Vienna
2014 Hermann Nitsch, action painting, Dirimart, Istanbul
In dialogue: Viennese Actionism, mdm Museum der Moderne, Salzburg
2013 Action Photos - 1960 to 1979, Nitsch Foundation, Vienna
Personal Structures, Palazzo Bembo, 55th Biennale di Venezia, Venice
2012 Hermann Nitsch - Leviticus, Galerie Thoman modern, Innsbruck
A bigger splash: painting after performance, Tate Modern, London
Exhibition Utopia Gesamtkunstwerk, 21er Haus, Vienna
2011 Hermann Nitsch- Structures, Leopold Museum, Vienna
2008 Hermann Nitsch: The Orgies Mysteries Theatre, Galerie Lelong, Zurich
2009 Hermann Nitsch, Orgies Mysteries Theatre, Gallery Gölles, Fürstenfeld
2007 Exitus. Death Everyday, Künstlerhaus Vienna
2006 Retrospective, National Gallery Berlin, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin
2005 the triumph of painting, Saatchi Gallery, London
2004 paintings, Mike Weiss Gallery, New York
2003 Nitsch - on the occasion of his 65th birthday, Essl Collection, Klosterneuburg
1999 Hermann Nitsch. Early works, together with G.Brus, White Box Gallery, New York
1998 out of actions: between performance and the object, 1949-1979, Moca, Los Angeles; MAK, Vienna; MAC, Barcelona
1997 Women artists. 50 Positions of Contemporary Intern. Video portraits and works, Kunsthaus, Bregenz
1994 The Architecture - the Anatomy, Gallery Rhomberg, Innsbruck
Close to the Body, Gallery Krinzinger, Vienna
1992 Brus-Nitsch-Pichler-Rainer, Ropac Gallery, Salzburg
1989 Museum of the 20th Century, Vienna
1982 Documenta 7, Kassel
1975 Photodocumentation Actions 1960 - 1975, Gallery Krinzinger, Innsbruck
1972 Documenta 5, Kassel
1960 Red Apple Gallery, Vienna

1990 Lecture at the Dresden Art Academy
1991 Lecture at the University of Texas, El Paso
1996 Awarded the title "Professor", bmuuk, Vienna
2006 Awarded honorary doctorate, University of Cluj, Romania
2007 Opening of the Hermann Nitsch Museum, Mistelbach, Austria
2009 Opening of the Nitsch Foundation, Vienna
2012 Michael Karrer became the artistic director of the Nitsch Museum in Mistelbach
2018 For the 80th birthday there were exhibitions in Berlin, Frankfurt, London, Paris, Vienna, Prinzendorf, Hagen and in my two museums in Naples and Mistelbach.
The Action Symphony, the 155th action, was premiered in Mistelbach.
In 2019, the Albertina is holding a large exhibition on all epochs of my painting.