The Austrian painter and performance artist Hermann Nitsch (1938 - 2022) has died. The co-founder of Viennese Actionism was known for his painting actions and pouring pictures since the early 1960s. His main artistic work, the "Orgien-Mysterien-Theater", which combines motifs of Christian liturgy, Greek mythology and abstract music to create a Gesamtkunstwerk, was performed in more than 100 productions worldwide. Photographs and relics of these performative "blood sacrifices," which Nitsch himself understood as an "aesthetic ritual of the glorification of existence," were presented at documenta 5 in 1972 in Harald Szeemann's section "Individual Mythologies." A second time works and performance traces of Hermann Nitsch were shown at documenta 7 (1982).


The former professor at Frankfurt's Städelschule died on April 18 in Mistelbach, north of Vienna.