Hermann Nitsch (August 29, 1938 Vienna, Austria) is a painter and performance artist and a prominent representative of Viennese actionism.
After finishing his studies at the graphic school in Vienna, Nitsch took over a position as a utility engineer at the Technical Museum in 1957. A few years later, the first painting campaigns and the idea of the Orgy Mysteries Theater were created. His public action in Vienna led to constant confrontations with the authorities and several weeks’ imprisonment, which prompted the artist to take him to Germany in the early 1960s.
After the great successes of the orgies mystery theater in the USA and Germany in the late 1960s, Nitsch carried out actions in many European and North American cities during the 1970s.
Hermann Nitsch’s world view is strongly influenced by mystical authors, but also amongst others by de Sade, Friedrich Nietzsche, Sigmund Freud and Antonin Artaud.
In 2007 the “Hermann Nitsch Museum” was opened in the museum center Mistelbach, which led to protests among parts of the inhabitants of Mistelbach and in 2008 Nitsch’s long-standing gallery owner Peppe Morra opened a museum devoted exclusively to Nitsch’s work, the “Museo Archivio Laboratorio per Arti Contemporanee Hermann Nitsch”.