The artist Hermann Nitsch died at the age of 83. The controversial actionist from Austria polarized with his art and particularly annoyed animal rights activists.
The famous and controversial action artist Hermann Nitsch (83 †) is dead. The Austrian painter and sculptor died on Monday at the age of 83 in a hospital in Mistelbach north of Vienna, as his wife announced on Tuesday.
Nitsch made a name for himself with his actions involving slaughtered animals and naked people. His “orgy-mystery theater” with blood, cadavers and entrails became his trademark.
Nitsch art is characterized by religious blood spectacles
Nitsch was born on August 29, 1938 in Vienna. At the age of 15 he attended the graphic teaching and research institute in the Austrian capital. Already in his first pictures he dealt with religion – a topic that never let him go. At the end of the 1950s he first conceived the idea of a ritual blood spectacle as a total work of art made up of music, theater and painting, which was to determine his work until his death.
Nitsch’s breakthrough came with “Destruction in Art Symposium”.
In 1966, Nitsch made his international breakthrough with an invitation to London for the “Destruction in Art Symposium”. The action in front of an established audience was canceled by the police – this was followed by offers from all over the world. Since the 1980s, his work has been shown in numerous renowned museums and exhibitions. There are also two museums dedicated to his work in Naples and in Mistelbach, Austria. Nitsch also designed several opera productions.
Last year he conceived a controversial live painting action for Wagner’s “Valkyrie” at the Bayreuth Festival.