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Direct Art

Viennese Actionism in an International Context

Friday, November 12, 2010 to Sunday, May 29, 2011

The direct work with bodies, objects and substances in the 'real' world of things–in contrast to the use of the classic materials of visual arts to create illusions or evocations of subject matter–is the concern of many artists throughout the world. The Viennese Actionists are regarded as belonging to one group of those who moved away from or abandoned the easel picture in favour of staging activities in space and time.

Through the confrontation with precisely selected Gutai, Nouveau Réalisme, Fluxus, Pop Art and Happening, this reassessment of the MUMOK’s holdings of Viennese Actionism pointed up the cross-references, analogies and structural similarities of the Viennese artists to simultaneous international developments. In the process it became evident that despite the fact that at the time they were acting 'off stage' as far as the international art world was concerned, their formulation of the questions was not only abreast of the current discourse, but because of the radical nature of their artistic steps and their perseverance they occasionally even outstripped their contemporaries.

Curated by Eva Badura-Triska

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