Hermann Nitsch - Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Friday, October 16, 2009 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Galerie Heike Curtze, Vienna

  • Exhibited

    London, The Saatchi Gallery, 26 January - 30 October, 2005; Leeds City Art Gallery, 25 January - 12 March, 2006; The Triumph of Painting

  • Literature

    Exhibition catalogue, The Triumph of Painting, London, 2005, p. 101 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Over nearly half a century, the Austrian performance artist Hermann Nitsch has been an exponent of the ideals emanating from the short lived and violent avant garde movement which he headed in the 60s known as the Viennese Actionists. Together with his fellow Actionists, Nitsch shared an interest in rejecting object-based or otherwise commodifiable art practices. Their artistic practice involved staging precisely scored 'Actions' in controlled environments or before audiences. Often to the point of arrest for its participants, the performances involved the use of the human body as both surface and site of art-making. 
    Like his performances, Hermann Nitsch's Splatter paintings exist as holy ‘relics': icons of metaphysical significance, radiating an aura of edification. They convey a terrible beauty, a sublime contemplation of life, violence, transgression and extremity. Nitsch's abstract splatter paintings, like his performance pieces, established a theme of controlled violence, using bright reds, maroons, and pale greys that communicate organic mutilation Large-scale, abstract and red, Hermann Nitsch's "Splatter Paintings" are vital in the development of Austrian Contemporary Art, but moreover, they are signatures for the development of European Action Painting within the international contemporary art world. With his vigorous splatter effects, recorded by the bare canvas, Nitsch enters into a dialogue of motions between the artist and the canvas. Through his action of throwing the paint onto the canvas' surface, the final product records and absorbs the act and outcome of his motions. In effect, Nitsch's series of splatter paintings, capture the essence of Action Painting as a reciprocal relationship that is played out between subject and object, where both become intertwined, making one dependent on the other.



Oil and acrylic on canvas.
200 x 300 cm. (79 x 111 in).

£20,000 - 30,000 ♠ †

Sold for £45,650

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

17 Oct 2009