Viennese Actionism

   / Wiener Aktionismus
   A highly provocative form of painting and drawing, Viennese Actionism came to public attention in the 1960s. Its characteristic themes were the irrational and ignoble qualities of human thought and behavior and the conversion of all art, music, and literature into visual images. Advocates, such as the painters Günter Brus (1938–) and Otto Mühl (1925–), often ran afoul of public authorities with their antics. On 31 July 1968, they were sentenced for putting on a program called “The Art of Presenting Humanity,” in which Brus, who pled guilty, had stripped himself naked, then relieved himself publicly. In 1997, however, Brus received the Great Austrian State Prize and in 2000 the Oskar Kokoschka Prize.
   See also Art; Film.

Historical dictionary of Austria. . 2014.

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