Saturday, 29 April 2017, from 6 p.m., IAGA Contemporary Art Gallery  has the great pleasure of hosting an important high-class art exhibit centering on the artistic work of internationally renowned artist Herman Nitsch, one of the co-initiators of the controversial movement called Vienna Actionism.

“Occurring for a rather short period between 1960 and 1970,  the main “actionists” were Hermann Nitsch, Günter Brus, Otto Mühl and Rudolf Schwarzkogler. This event essentially equated on a European level with the beginnings of “performance art”, a form of art that implies direct action as a medium for trans-figuring the object in question, through manifestations of violence, vandalism, destruction and other means of action which deviate from traditional artistic practice and the enforced social ethics.

The confrontation between artist and material, entailing the live presence of the human figure, scarified animals, verdant elements (expressive apparitions in the illustration of dead nature) represent in the case of Hermann Nitsch the apparatus of an art form perfected over time in the context of an inexhaustible researched topic, the practice and theory of art.

Celebration of life is a reoccurring motif combining in a versatile manner painting, happening, stage art, and musical in an au courant endeavor to conceive an “total work of art” (Gesamtkunstwerk). The Austrian artist envisioned these artistic means of exteriorization beginning in 1960, in the form of a dynamic opus magnum carried out under the name “Orgien Mysterien Theater” (OMT).

The showing hosted by the Gallery IAGA is based on a curatorial work focusing on a video/photographic retrospective of the Gesamtkunstwerk and a joined presentation of Herman Nitsch’s most emblematic work, documented by the artist as a testimony of the period in which these actions took place. Works of art, mixed media, collages, assemblages of numerous “artifacts” evaluated through unmediated sensory experiences by the performances also gain an expressionist content, scouring on the sacrosanct; this dimension is earned through the indestructible ties between man and nature and its appeal to the idea of supreme sacrifice as a fount of existence – a mystical representative phenomenon inspired from the religions and myths of other civilizations.

The present showing at Cluj is the result of a tight and lingering collaboration between the IAGA Contemporary Art Gallery, Box Art Gallery of Verona and the artist’s workshop in Prinzendorf, Austria. This significant contribution to the artistic center of Transylvania has been present since 2008, the moment Hermann Nitsch was granted the distinction of Doctor Honoris Causa by the University of Art and Design from Cluj Napoca. Currently, the art work and life of the artist Hermann Nitsch is recognized by way of his shows that take place throughout the globe, the two museum’s collections (Nitsch Museum, Mistelbach, Museo Nitsch, Napoli) and the foundation which bears his name (Nitsch Foundation, Vienna) as well as exhibitions held  in several other museums and galleries, such as: MOMA, Peggy Guggenheim Collection and Metropolitan Museum in New York, Tate Gallery in London, Albertina and Leopold Museum in  Vienna, Georges Pompidou Center in Paris, Kunstahalle in Hamburg, Nationalgalerie in Berlin and many other prestigious artistic centers.” (Georgeta Olimpia Bera)

Curated by Georgeta Olimpia Bera, Beatrice Benedetti and Walter Bonomi, the exhibition is therefore an important event for international art critics and collectors, confirming IAGA Gallery’s desire to be a living cultural platform whose objectives are those of developing and promoting dialog between Eastern and Western European contemporary art, thanks to participation to art fairs, international contemporary art festivals and events, looking for a possible future where international cultural exchange and dialogue is really the foundation upon which we can build long-term artistic projects.

The exhibition opening will be held at IAGA Gallery in the presence of the artist, with access only by invitation. The exhibit stays opened and can be visited between April 29th and  June 18th 2017.

A bilingual catalog (Romanian – English) will be also available for purchasing.

For more information please contact: [email protected]