Currently reading : Viennese Season: Actionism at the Richard Saltoun Gallery
Body Sign Action 2, 1970
The very exciting Viennese Season: Actionism exhibition has just opened at the Richard Saltoun Gallery and is the first major survey of Viennese Actionism in the UK. The exhibition will present the work of Günter Brus, Otto Mühl, Hermann Nitsch, and Rudolf Schwarzkogler. Virtually over by 1970, the radical movement was short-lived but rich and dense in each artist’s output. Performance works, aktions, were at the heart of their work, extending the use and meaning of painting. Blood, animal carcasses, razor blades, and ropes were all used as implements to create these aktions.
This new season at begins with examining Actionism the sensational movement borne out of expressive action painting in Vienna in the late 1950s. The second, Feminism, will present the work of Valie EXPORT and Friedl Kubelka, two artists using their body and the action of documentary photograph to subvert the traditional notion of the “great male artist”. As Actionists chose to challenge the mythology of traditional art mediums such as painting and sculpture so did these two Feminist artists choose to challenge the hierarchy of the art establishment.
The exhibition will include vintage photographs of performances by all four artists as well as one of the original surviving stretchers used by Nitsch, rare in its survival and that he only ever performed six aktions.
Opening its doors yesterday the exhibition will run until the 4th of
April and is open week days from 10am to 6pm
111 Great Titchfield Street
London W1W 6RY
4 Aktion / 4th Action, 1965
3 Aktion, 1965