Bodenschüttbild (38. Malaktion 1996). 1996. Oil and blood on white-primed burlap. 250 x 300 cm (98.4 x 118.1 in).
• Most of his 'Pour Pictures' have the color of the blood: Red! • Monumental and energetic document of Nitsch's legendary Action Art. • Nitsch is the main representative of 'Viennese Actionism', today his famous 'Pour Pictures' are in important international collections such as the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Tate Liverpool and the Albertina in Vienna. • In 2019 the Albertina in Vienna dedicated the show "Nitsch. Räume aus Farbe" to Nitsch's monumental Action Art.
PROVENANCE: From a renowned European collection (acquired from the artist in 1997).
"Red is the one colors that is most intensively noticed, as it is the color of life and death at the same time." Hermann Nitsch
"My work is decisively influenced by Greek tragedy, where it's all about death, suffering and resurrection. For me as someone who orchestrates real events, death and resurrection are [..] very important." Hermann Nitsch, 2017, quote from: Jürgen Klatzer et al, Hermann Nitsch "Die Angepassten sind die Schlimmsten", kurier.at, read on April 1, 2021.
Hermann Nitsch's fascinating "Bodenschüttbild" (Floor Pour Picture) is huge, energetic, colorful and mystical. Nitsch developed his own variant of Informalism based on the actionism of the "Orgies Mysteries Theater" he invented: the poured picture. The pouring action is an artistic process and the result is a controlled coincidence. Subsequent manual interventions, the processing of the color on the canvas lying on the floor using the entire body - such as Nitsch's handprint in bottom right and the red furrows executed with feet and fingers - the at times impasto and dense color gradients are also the result of the energetic process of artistic creation. The canvas documents the artistic result of a painterly action. Red stands for blood - the actual and sole medium able to convey the artist's orgiastic-mystical vision. In the present work Nitsch combines animal blood with pastose red paint above it, which leads to a distinguished special haptic presence and density. The preferred image carrier is made of burlap, which, for irregularity and coarseness has something archaic about it and corresponds to the red color (= blood). The downpour of paint on the burlap is a documentation of a "sacred" process. So the picture is only the indirect bearer of a message already expressed in the action of the creative process itself. "Nitsch interprets life as passion, the painting process as condensed life and thus as the epitome of passion. Every picture has this message. All splashes of paint are reminiscent of traces of blood. All pictures speak of injuries, of injuries that cannot be erased. Hermann Nitsch leads us the pictures in front of his eyes as if showed us his wounds. " (Wieland Schmidt, in: Hermann Nitsch. Die Architektur des Orgien Mysterien Theaters, vol. II, Munich 1993, p. 15). [JS]