In the frenzy of the colors

Pour, lubricate, spray: for the first time, the Albertina shows Hermann Nitsch's painting decoupled from his total work of art and lets the extensive pictures conquer the space.

Nitsch became famous with his Orgien Mysterien Theater. Yet painting is only one discipline of his work, which is deeply rooted in actionism, performance and multimedia. His action painting is based on informal art and aims at giving form and expression to the moment, the sensually excited production process. The excessive spillage and smearing of paint on vertical or horizontal canvases results in a color frenzy that Nitsch himself describes as the "visual grammar of action theater on a picture surface".

For the first time, the Albertina does not view Hermann Nitsch's painting as part of a larger whole but instead allows images to become spatial installations. The resulting color spaces take us on a journey: because the exhibition shows a continuously evolving Nitsch. While in the 1960s his pictures were still a monochrome red, from the mid-1980s they gained explosive power and expressiveness through the combination of several colors. And so we dive into spaces with the dominant colors of his monochrome works in black, red and yellow, only to be shaken up and surprised again by veritable explosions of color. A show that underlines the great importance of the controversial artist and literally shows its colors.

NITSCH. Spaces of Color, May 17, 2019 – August 11, 2019


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