Hermann Nitsch - Drawings

Humans – Architecture – Orgies Mysteries Theater

With the drawings of Hermann Nitsch, the BRUSEUM presents an aspect of his work that did not often receive the necessary attention due to the opulence of his actions and sheer dimensions of his ‘spilled paintings’. Even before Nitsch began to work in 1957 on the ideas for his Orgies Mysteries Theater (Orgien Mysterien Theater), he had already engaged with the subjects of suffering, crucifixion, death and resurrection.

Among his earliest works are his drawings on Rembrandt’s Crucifixion. Since the end of the 1950s he had been working on the design of a gigantic drama spread over several days. The basic aim of the broadly conceived structure of his Orgies Mysteries Theater is the intensification of lived experience and as a result a heightened sense of joy in existence as the mysticism of being. In this art assumes the functions of religion.

Nitsch’s entire oeuvre can be seen as a descent into the depths, for which reason it need not surprise us that his drawings from the 1960s on represent fantastic, subterranean architectural complexes, entities that reproduce entire bodies or make reference to them, and which allow us to discern both his all-encompassing thoughts and his precise signature in drawing form. Nitsch merges the ‘natural phenomenon that is man’ illustratively with proliferating architecture. In this, he not infrequently adapts Christian iconography.

Curator: Roman Grabner

October 25, 2024 — February 23, 2025

8010 Graz

admission € 12, free for children and students up to 19 years