“Vienna Actionism”

Museum für Angewandte Kunst / Graphische Sammlung Albertina / Museum des 20. Jahrhunderts

An all-encompassing exhibition of Viennese actionism still lies ahead, even though Vienna has just witnessed a rapid succession of three partially overlapping shows on this subject. “Von der Aktionsmalerei zum Aktionismus” (From action painting to actionism), conceived by Veit Loers and Dieter Schwarz and already mounted in Kassel and Winterthur last year, reached the Museum für Angewandte Kunst, albeit with a few changes. At the same time, “Der zertrümmerte Spiegel” (The shattered mirror), a show concentrating on graphic works, ran at the Graphische Sammlung Albertina. And, finally, the Museum des 20. Jahrhunderts offered a Hermann Nitsch retrospective. This threesome demonstrated that actionism still exists in a confusing context and that sympathy and understanding of that context are needed in order to come to terms with Austria’s most radical artistic movement—a movement that has

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