Otto Muehl

(Mariasdorf, Österreich 1925 - 2013 Moncarapacho, Portugal)
The Austrian action artist Otto Muehl was born on 16 July 1925 as Otto Mühl in Grodnau in Burgenland. Muehl becomes a pioneer of Viennese actionism with the help of exciting, notoriously notorious art actions. To realize his ideals, Muehl founded his own municipality in 1974, which will accompany him until his death on 26 May 2013 in Portugal.
From 1948 to 1952, Muehl studied German and history at Lehramt at the university before starting his studies of art education at the Academy of Fine Arts from 1953 on. After his first solo exhibition in 1960, however, he turns away from painting and creates first works of art in which he slides canvases, incorporates objects and produces scraped structures. Together with other artists, Muehl contributed decisively to the beginning of "Viennese Actionism" through his manifesto "Die Blutorgel" in 1962. Together with Hermann Nitsch and Adolf Frohner, he is allowed to wallow in his studio for three days. Disinclined by bourgeois society, artists such as Muehl, Nitsch and Günther Brus want to break the traditional concept of art with disturbing, radical body art actions. In 1966 Muehl creates a new type of action with Brus, which places the body as the main material in the foreground. Muehl participates in a variety of art activities, including the 1968 "Art and Revolution" campaign and the slaughter of a pig and its blood-filled art with Nitsch in 1969. To delineate his art from the "Happening Art "Muehl founds the" Aktionsanalytische Organization "(AAO), which was inspired by Wilhelm Reich, and later the municipality of Friedrichshof in 1974, which runs its own school, various workshops and agriculture. At the peak in 1983, the municipality comprises 600 members. Although the municipality is founded on principles such as free sexuality, community ownership, the abolition of the small family and the further development of the art of action, the project fails because of authoritarian leadership. Muehl creates a variety of works, which, however, are not exhibited outside the municipality. After being convicted in 1991 on the basis of different moral codes, he was sentenced to seven years' imprisonment, while around 300 pictures were created. After his release he moved to Portugal, where he lives until his death in 2013 in an "Art & Life Family" community.

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Battle of the Sexes II, 1970/71


Frieze Masters London 2018
4. - 07. October 2018
Frieze Masters London 2017
5. - 08. October 2017