artists & participants

press release

On 16th December at 7pm, the Galleria d’Arte Moderna will open the exhibition dedicated to Günter Brus, renown protagonist of the Viennese Actionist movement. The exhibition, held in collaboration with the Albertina of Vienna, after a period in Vienna, Graz, Zug and Bologna will be displayed at the MACBA in Barcelona and at the Tate Modern in London in 2005 and 2006.

Günter Brus (born in 1938) is one of those great European artists, active throughout the ’60s, who with his breaking down of the boundaries between different genres and his carefree confidence in switching between various means of expression, produced a range of truly innovative aesthetic creations.

Brus debuted in 1960 under the Informal Painting movement, transferring the physical and psychic energy of the canvas onto his own body, using it as if it were a traditional canvas and treating it accordingly. Brus’s role as a front-line protagonist in the movement known as Viennese Actionism, is confirmed by his performances verging on self-destruction, the last of which, “Zerreissprobe” (1970), was one of the reasons which forced Brus to leave Austria. This was the period in which the body came to constitute the basis of a form of subversiveness (also political), with regard to the dominant social values. Brus’s body was one on which he himself inflicted all kinds of torture, up to the threshold of suicide. Brus later turned to drawing and painting, leading him to produce works of powerful iconographic synthesis. Even in these illustrated poems, Brus lashes out aggressively and subversively against over-rigid mentalities, before plunging into a fairy-tale, fantasy world, taking the lead from the likes of Füssli, Redon, Schiele and Kubin. His desire to come up with ever-new ideas shines through from his illustrations and in both his theatrical and literary works.

This retrospective includes a number of works on paper, action projects, documentation and film outlines from the ‘50s onward, on loan from a range of both public and private collections.


only in german

Günter Brus. Viaggio intorno all´opera
A retrospective from 1960 to 1996
Kuratoren: Monika Faber, Peter Weiermair
Kooperation: Galleria d’Arte Moderna of Bologna; Albertina Vienna; Neue Galerie am Landesmuseum Joanneum, Graz; Kunsthaus Zug

weitere Stationen:
2005-2006 Museu d´Art Contemporani, Barcelona; Tate Modern, London