The exhibition "Otto Muehl. Life / Art / Work. Action Utopia Painting 1960-2004" offers a comprehensive overview of Otto Muehl's work for the first time - beginning with the material pictures and collages from the Sixties and the actions from the same period to the paintings from the beginning right up to the present day.
With the destruction of the easel painting as propagated by Otto Muehl, with his garbage sculptures, collages and actions he occupied an outstanding position in Viennese Actionism - Austria's most important contribution to the post-war international art world - along with others such as Hermann Nitsch, Günter Brus, Alfons Schilling and Rudolf Schwarzkogler. The founding of the Friedrichshof Commune, initially called the AAO - "Aktions Analytische Organisation" - followed logically from the radical artistic questioning of the late Sixties. The Friedrichshof commune was an idealistic attempt to change the world by means of art. In the final analysis, this anarchistic advance failed as a state within a state and would remain a utopian vision.
The main part of the show is dedicated, however, to Otto Muehl's oeuvre as a painter. Even as early as the fifties, painting and the investigation of the incunabula of art history played an important role for the artist. Otto Muehl would return to painting at the beginning of the seventies, although from a different point of view, and continue his investigations into art history in this medium. The exhibition will present works from all creative periods and thus enable a comprehensive, retrospective look at Otto Muehl's painting.
Exhibition Otto Muehl, Peter Noever
Curator Bettina M. Busse
Co-Curator Barbara Horvath
Catalogue "Otto Muehl. Leben / Kunst / Werk. Aktion Utopie Malerei 19602004", edited by Peter Noever, with an introduction by Bettina M. Busse, contributions by Éric Alliez, Michel Giroud, Peter Gorsen and Otto Muehl, a comprehensive chronology of actions as well as numerous original texts and manifestoes, German, 416 pages, Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Cologne 2004. MAK Design Shop