Hermann Nitsch, one of the co-founders of Vienna Actionism, was born in Vienna in 1938. His internationally recognized work covers the entire range of the arts and his actions adress all facets of existence.
In 1958 Nitsch completed his training at the Graphische Lehr- und Versuchsanstalt Vienna. Initially working as a commercial graphic artist at the Technical Museum, he devoted himself to his art only in private. It was at this time that the idea of the so-called Orgien Mysterien Theater (Theatre of Orgies and Mysteries) was born, the perfection of which he is still working on today. A new form of Gesamtkunstwerk is created, which involves all the senses of the participants and is staged as an action lasting several days. Flesh, blood and other body fluids play a central role. In 1961 Nitsch met Otto Muehl, Günter Brus and Rudolf Schwarzkogler and joint actions were created. Nitsch came into conflict with the law several times through his art and left the country at the end of the 1960s. This was followed by lively action, concert and exhibition projects in Europe and the USA. In 1971 Nitsch bought Prinzendorf Castle in Lower Austria, where later on several performances of the Orgien Mysterien Theater took place. Music plays an increasingly important role in his work alongside painting. 1972 the artist participated in documenta 5 under the direction of Harald Szeemann, and in 1982 he was invited to documenta 7. In 1987 he created his famous Schüttbilder at the Secession. From 1989 to 2003 Nitsch taught at the Hochschule für Bildende Kunst in Frankfurt am Main. 1998 the performance of the "6 Tage Spiel" takes place. Through greater political and social acceptance, the exhibitions in Austrian museums became more frequent and the international success was further expanded. 2007 the hermann nitsch museum in Mistelbach was founded. Awards also bear witness to the recognition of his work: 1984 Austrian Art Prize for Fine Arts, 1988 Prize of the City of Vienna for Fine Arts, 2005 Grand Austrian State Prize for Fine Arts. Hermann Nitsch's art is part of numerous national and international contemporary museum and private collections.