2014-2016 | Painting actionism – excess and sensuality

Malaktionismus – exzess und sinnlichkeit / Action painting – excess and sensuality curated by Michael Karrer exhibition 2014-2016

65.malaktion 31.07.2013 – 22.08.2013 schloss prinzendorf
64.malaktion 6-13.10.2012 museo arte contemporanea rovereto
60.malaktion february 2011 mike weiss gallery, new york
56.malaktion may 2009 mzm nitsch museum mistelbach
54.malaktion august 2008 museo nitsch naples
45.malaktion 15.07.2002 – 22.08.2002 schloss prinzendorf
40.malaktion october-november 1997 museum des 20er haus wien
39.malaktion july 1997 schloss prinzendorf
29.malaktion july-august 1990 schloss prinzendorf
16.malaktion june-july 1983 schloss prinzendorf
essences, flavours, and colours laboratory of the o. m. theater
photographs 40.malaktion october-november 1997 museum des 20er haus wien
photographs of aktions 1962-1966
vintage photographs of aktions 1961-1962

As part of an international project by the two Hermann Nitsch Museums, the Mistelbach (Austria) Museum has designed an exhibition on action painting to be held at the Museo Nitsch in Naples. The exhibition analyses and illustrates the genesis, development and meaning of action painting in relation to the Orgien Mysterien Theater. Action painting, especially the intrinsic act of painting, is a sensory and dramatic process, intimately bound to Hermann Nitsch’s conception of theatre. The exhibition at the museum shows the genesis, development and meaning of action painting in relation to the Orgien Mysterien Theater.
The exhibition, Action Painting – Excess and Sensuality, takes its inspiration from a pivotal statement made by the artist in 1964: “my action painting is the visible grammar of my theatre of action on the surface of a canvas.” As such, the exhibition offers an examination of the integral relationship between action painting and the Orgien Mysterien Theater. Hermann Nitsch’s first action paintings took place in 1960, in his studio at the Technisches Museum of Vienna, away from the public eye or only in the presence of a few of the artist’s friends. “…the splattering and pouring of coloured substances onto different surfaces became an authentic event, a live experience of substantial sensuality.” (Hermann Nitsch, 1987)
Today, hundreds of art lovers from around the world flock to attend Hermann Nitsch’s action painting performances. Many of these, however, reduce action painting to the process of generating Schüttbilder – ‘spill-paintings’ – unaware of the overall connection between them, or better, the extent to which these processes are integrally linked to the Orgien Mysterien Theater, the Gesamtkunstwerk. For the first time, an exhibition addresses this issue and attempts to compare and contrast the sensory intensity of the Orgien Mysterien Theater with the so-called ‘sensuality of substance’ that marks action painting performance. This large-scale exhibition at the Museo Nitsch in Naples presents eighty-eight Schüttbilder taken from ten different actions, along with a selection of illustrative texts and documentary photographs.
Michael Karrer Nitsch Museum Mistelbach