During the last years of his career, Hermann Nitsch developed a painting of great vitality, increasingly colorful, always closely linked to his performative acts and to the places in which he intervenes.
Fascinated by Monet’s Water Lilies, to which he paid homage at the Musée de l’Orangerie during each of his stays in Paris, the Viennese artist was invited before his death to come and have a dialogue with this masterpiece of Impressionism, whose he underlined the proximity he saw in it with the issues of his own practice: “in my performances, my expressive and religious painting has become a finished drama, an analytical dramaturgy. What remains to be seen is a frenzy of colors and shapes that stand out far beyond the content, like the ecstasies of color in Monet’s Water Lilies” (in 2022, in an interview with Sarah Imatte, heritage curator at the Musée de l’Orangerie).
Although Nitsch did not have time to realize his project for the Musée de l’Orangerie, the museum wanted to pay tribute to him, a year after his death, in the form of this counterpoint bringing together a set of paintings and works graphics produced shortly before his death, chosen directly from the artist’s studio. They will be deployed in the “pronaos” space at the Water Lilies, as well as in the contemporary room on R-2 of the museum.
Curator: Claire Bernardi, Director of the Musée de l’Orangerie