His Fresco, with its connotations of martyrdom and penance, is fixed with the tortured bust of a ’saint’, a site of devotional worship as horrifically compelling as an ossuary or catacomb.

Much is made of Hermann Nitsch as cult provocateur, but he is first and foremost an artist: his performances and rituals are painstakingly planned in the context and language of art. Each ’Aktion’ is premeditated through preparatory drawings and paintings, reflecting Hermann Nitsch’s influence by, and position within, the predominant movements spanning his career.

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