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Günter Brus

Günter Brus (*1938) is an action artist and painter and is considered one of the most radical representatives of Viennese Actionism of the 1960s. Brus studied at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Graz and the Academy of Applied Arts in Vienna, which he left without graduating.

Influenced by the works of the Impressionists and Abstract Expressionists, Brus's painting from the 1960s on was designed to explode the outdated forms and traditions. Thus, he painted creatively excessively without regard to the dimensions of his canvas and by flinging paint onto the canvas in large quantities and with violent movements. In addition, delicate drawings were also his form of expression.

From 1964 he turned to action art and until 1970 he carried out numerous actions in which he used his body in particular as artistic material. His actions were excessive and transgressive, causing numerous scandals in the Viennese art and cultural scene. The climax was the action Art and Revolution on June 7, 1968, which he carried out together with the artist group Wiener Aktionisten. It became known in the press as the "Uni-Ferkelei" and led to Günter Brus and other participants being sentenced to prison. To escape imprisonment, Brus went to Berlin. In 1970 he carried out his last action and turned back to painting, drawing and literature.

Brus participated in Documenta 5, Documenta 6 and Documenta 7 and was honored in 1996 with the Great Austrian State Prize for Fine Arts for his life's work. Since 2005 he has worked as a columnist and illustrator for the Austrian monthly magazine Datum.


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