Günter Brus

(* 1938 Ardning in der Steiermark)
Günter Brus was born on 27 September 1938 in Arding in Styria. Alongside Otto Muehl, Herrmann Nitsch and Rudolf Schwarzkogler, he was one of the most important representatives of "Wiener Aktionismus " and had a decisive influence on international performance art. With his actions in the 1960s, he broke the conventions of historical panel painting by using his own body as medium. His radicalism caused outrage in Austria. From the 1970s onwards, he also created the well-known "Bild-Dichtungen".
From 1954 to 1957 Günter Brus completed his studies at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Graz in the commercial art class. In 1958 he began his studies at the Academy of Applied Arts in Vienna, which, however, remained unfinished. During his time in Vienna, Brus was influenced by Austrian Early Expressionism, in particular by Egon Schiele. In 1964 his first "Action", which transferred painting to body and space, took place with the title "Ana". Further "Actions" such as the "Wiener Spaziergang" followed in 1965. In 1968 the action "Art and Revolution" (also known as "Uni Ferkelei") by Günter Brus, Otto Muehl, Peter Weibel and Oswald Wiener at the University of Vienna leads to a sentence of six months imprisonment. As a result, Günter Brus and his family flee to Berlin. In 1970 he carries out his last action "Zerreißprobe" in Munich. From there on he finds a new way of artistic expression - the "Bild-Dichtungen", which is a graphic interplay of image and text. The content remains critical but causes less sensation. In 1979 the Brus family returns to Styria. In addition to exhibitions in Eindhoven, Paris, Barcelona and Berlin, the artist is also honoured again in Austria: in 1986 the Museum Moderner Kunst Vienna exhibits his works under the title "Der Überblick". He took part in documenta 5 and documenta 7 in Kassel and in 1980 exhibited at the Venice Biennale. In 1997 he was awarded the Austrian State Prize for his artistic achievements. In 2004 he was awarded the Oskar Kokoschka Prize, and in 2008 he finally opened his own museum and research centre in Graz, the "BRUSEUM". An excerpt from his quote "My body is the intention, my body is the event, my body is the result," will even be the exhibition title at MUMOK, Vienna 2015. In 2018 Belvedere 21 showed a retrospective and he received the Grand Decoration of Honour of the Province of Styria as well as Decorations for Science, Research and Art.

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Works

Exhibitions

Body Extended
30. October - 30. November 2019
Günter Brus
25. September - 22. November 2019
Frieze Masters London 2019
2. - 06. October 2019

Publications

It's a matter of body
From Vienna Modernism to Vienna Actionism
Günter Brus
Die Einsamkeit des Spätklassikers