Marc Straus

Gallery

Hermann Nitsch

September 9 - October 18, 2015

Opening Reception
Wed September 9 2015, 6pm

MARC STRAUS is proud to present Hermann Nitsch’s first solo exhibition at the gallery; it will include recent paintings as well as important historic pieces from his distinguished career of over 55 years.

Since 1957, Nitsch has been addressing the intensification of human existence through his ritualistic performance art, most prominently “The Orgien Mysterien Theater.” With more than 100 performances to date, these staged Dionysian performances are replete with mock religious sacrifices and crucifixion, blood, entrails, robes, dance and nude participants. Religious tropes are all here; the intensity resembles scenes from Grünewald’s Isenheim Altarpiece, the carcasses nod towards Rembrandt’s hanging meats.

The performance works summon the synthesis of all senses to reveal deep universal truths. In these interpretations of pagan ceremonies, Nitsch becomes the conductor who balances his premeditated Aktions with spontaneous incidents, culminating in orgiastic frenzy – a catharsis – commanding complete dissolution of restraints from its participants. He intensifies complex themes such as creativity, politics, capitalism, innocence, sex, violence, and even questions animal cruelty. If Art is Sin, Nitsch is on a quest for the betterment of the soul.

This is not art of blasphemy or malevolence for the Church. Quite the contrary; Nitsch venerates Christianity whose history is charged with symbols and ceremonies of sacrifice, and whose origins assumed some pagan ritual. Nor is this art that disregards animals; Nitsch does not sacrifice live animals, a fact not understood by detractors. He procures animal cadavers that have been slaughtered professionally for meat. That his performances and work at times engenders such strong protest is understandable – Nitsch’s art is certainly unsettling and, as with some of the great artists, it is both unyielding and revealing. It asks questions that are not always comfortable. It is fearless and necessary.

This exhibition at MARC STRAUS will feature the resulting products of these bold performances: the paintings. His paintings record the corporeal existence of its contributors on their lush surfaces – the hysterical shuffle of dance, a smear, a bloody mark. In the same vein as Gutai’s Kazuo Shiraga’s suspended performances, the anthropometric records of Yves Klein or the shamanistic displays of Jackson Pollock, Nitsch explores the human body as a vehicle for his paintings. Wittgenstein’s decree “The human body is the best picture of the human soul” comes alive in Nitsch’s paintings.

The paintings are beautiful abstractions symbolizing what it means to be human. They are graceful violent palimpsests, full of vitality but also quiet for contemplation, representing a life of originality, courage and dissidence.

Hermann Nitsch (b. 1938, Vienna, Austria) lives and works at Prinzendorf Castle on the Zaya River, Lower Austria. His works are exhibited in the two Nitsch Museums in Mistelbach and Naples as well as in the Nitsch Foundation in Vienna and can be found in the permanent collections of preeminent international museums and galleries, including: MoMA, Guggenheim, The Metropolitan Museum New York, Tate Gallery London, The Centre Pompidou Paris, Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich and many more.

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Installation View
Hermann Nitsch  2015 Marc Straus Gallery
HermannNitsch-2015-Install-01
Hermann Nitsch  2015 Marc Straus Gallery
HermannNitsch-2015-Install-04
Hermann Nitsch  2015 Marc Straus Gallery
HermannNitsch-2015-Install-02
Hermann Nitsch  2015 Marc Straus Gallery
HermannNitsch-2015-Install-03
Hermann Nitsch  2015 Marc Straus Gallery
HermannNitsch-2015-Install-05
Hermann Nitsch  2015 Marc Straus Gallery
HermannNitsch-2015-Install-06
Hermann Nitsch  2015 Marc Straus Gallery
HermannNitsch-2015-Install-07
Hermann Nitsch  2015 Marc Straus Gallery
HermannNitsch-2015-Install-08
Hermann Nitsch  2015 Marc Straus Gallery
2015.9.19-Hermann-Nitsch-Installation-Gallery3-Re-shoot
Works In Exhibition
Hermann Nitsch 1986
Acrylic on Canvas
78 3/4 x 118 1/4 inches / 200 x 300 cm 2015 Marc Straus Gallery
Schuttbild

1986
Acrylic on Canvas
78 3/4 x 118 1/4 inches / 200 x 300 cm

Hermann Nitsch 2013
Acrylic on Canvas
78 3/4 x 78 3/4 in 200 x 200 cm 2015 Marc Straus Gallery
Schüttbild

2013
Acrylic on Canvas
78 3/4 x 78 3/4 in 200 x 200 cm

Hermann Nitsch 1992
Oil on Canvas
78 3/4 x 118 1/4 inches / 200 x 300 cm 2015 Marc Straus Gallery
Schüttbild

1992
Oil on Canvas
78 3/4 x 118 1/4 inches / 200 x 300 cm

Hermann Nitsch 2013
Acrylic on Canvas
78 3/4 x 78 3/4 in
200 x 200 cm 2015 Marc Straus Gallery
Schüttbild

2013
Acrylic on Canvas
78 3/4 x 78 3/4 in
200 x 200 cm

Hermann Nitsch 2010
Oil on canvas and painting on shirt
78 3/4 x 118 1/4 in
200 x 300 cm 2015 Marc Straus Gallery
Schüttbild

2010
Oil on canvas and painting on shirt
78 3/4 x 118 1/4 in
200 x 300 cm

Hermann Nitsch 2010
Blood and Acrylic on Canvas
78 3/4 x 118 1/4 in
200 x 300 cm 2015 Marc Straus Gallery
Schüttbild

2010
Blood and Acrylic on Canvas
78 3/4 x 118 1/4 in
200 x 300 cm

Hermann Nitsch 2011
Acrylic on Canvas
212 1/2 x 157 1/2 in
540 x 400 cm 2015 Marc Straus Gallery
Schüttbild

2011
Acrylic on Canvas
212 1/2 x 157 1/2 in
540 x 400 cm

Hermann Nitsch 1998
Blood and Acrylic on Canvas
78 3/4 x 118 1/4 in
200 x 300 cm 2015 Marc Straus Gallery
Schüttbild

1998
Blood and Acrylic on Canvas
78 3/4 x 118 1/4 in
200 x 300 cm

Hermann Nitsch 2010
Acrylic on Canvas with Painted Shirt
200 x 300cm 2015 Marc Straus Gallery
Schuttbild

2010
Acrylic on Canvas with Painted Shirt
200 x 300cm

Hermann Nitsch 1983
Oil on Canvas
78 3/4 x 118 1/4 in
200 x 300 cm 2015 Marc Straus Gallery
Schüttbild

1983
Oil on Canvas
78 3/4 x 118 1/4 in
200 x 300 cm

Hermann Nitsch 2013
Acrylic on Canvas
59 x 39 1/2 in
150 x 100 cm 2015 Marc Straus Gallery
Schüttbild

2013
Acrylic on Canvas
59 x 39 1/2 in
150 x 100 cm

Hermann Nitsch 2010
Acrylic on Canvas with Painted Shirt
200 x 300cm 2015 Marc Straus Gallery
Schuttbild

2010
Acrylic on Canvas with Painted Shirt
200 x 300cm

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