On 14 May 2020, the VV Foundation in cooperation with the Latvian National Museum of Art Museum of Decorative Arts and Design (10 Skarnu Street, Riga) had planned to open a solo exhibition of the Austrian avant-garde artist, Vienna-based artist Hermann Nitsch “Theatre of Orgies and Mysteries”. Due to the government declared emergency state in the country, the opening of the exhibition is being postponed. We will inform you soon about the time of the exhibition.


In the 1960s, Hermann Nitsch (1938) together with Ginter Günter, Otto Mühl, and Rudolf Schwarckogler, formed one of the most radical art movements of the 20th century, known in the history of art as the “Viennese Actionism”.
His work of life Herman Nitsch believes to be the Theatre of Orgies and Mysteries (Das Orgien-Mysterien-Theater), created in the late 1950s, which is based on the artist’s idea of the possibility of “total art” in the form of actions. Herman Nitsch describes OMT as an intense artistic experience that combines painting, theatre, music and lyricism with liturgical religious elements. The actions by Hermann Nitsch displays Dionysian and Christian rituals, and in general, the artist’s work is seen as a ritualised action of reenacting and performing actions with similar elements over and over again, performing visually similar large-scale abstract action painting compositions, by incorporating clothing and relics that store various sorts of substances of the performance participants, who are involved in the creation of the actions.
The exhibit in the Great Hall of the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design will feature the most significant art rituals of Hermann Nitsch – documentary videos and photo materials from his established “Theatre of Orgies of Mysteries”, samples of action painting and a video of painting performances, graphic works in which the artist depicts the ideal architecture of the “OMT” site, as well as the objects used in the actions. The exhibition will be supplemented by an educational program – conversations with the artist and the creators of the exhibition, a discussion, whether there are taboo subjects in art, lectures on the activities of Herman Nitsch, as well as workshops for children and adults.


Hermann Nitsch is an Austrian avant-garde artist, one of the “Viennese Actionism” members. In their rituals (actions) the representatives of this art movement often use self-mutilated bodies, defilement, animal guts, urine, faeces, blood as means of expression, thus showing a subconscious reaction to the “cleansing” of post-war Austria of its crimes, participation in National Socialism and the Holocaust.
Hermann Nitsch lives and works at Prinzendorf Castle, where the legendary campaign “6 Day Game” was held (1998). Nitsch Museum can also be found in the Austrian town of Mistelbach. The author’s works are included in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the stock of the Tate Gallery in London, the contemporary art collection in “Essl”, Austria, and in many more places.

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