The exhibition Bloodlines: Paintings by Hermann Nitsch featured work by the notoriously theatrical Austrian artist. Featuring eight major Schüttbilder (spill paintings) created between 1990 and 2007, as well as related objects and music, the exhibition introduced viewers to this seasoned artist’s creative practice and how his work is rooted in both the sanctity of religious ritual and the drama of Abstract Expressionist painting. Nitsch’s blood- and pigment-stained canvases hover between the poles of material decadence and the mystery enacted in the sacrificial/redemptive drama of the Catholic Mass. This exhibition provided an overview of Nitsch’s complex oeuvre as well as a platform for discussion about the possibilities for extreme art in contemporary life.
Bloodlines: Paintings by Hermann Nitsch was presented in the Joseph Crescenti Family Gallery and the Project Gallery from February 4, 2011 through May 29, 2011. The opening celebration was held on Friday, February 4, 2011. A catalogue with essays by Simon Zalkind and Patrick Greaney accompanied the exhibition.
image: Hermann Nitsch. Schüttbild (6-Day Play) (detail), 1998. Acrylic and blood on linen. Collection of Wayne F. J. Yakes, MD.