Performance Artist – Günter Brus

Gunter Brus artist with white paint  over bald head with black line of drawn down the center of his head and face. A knife is resting to the left side of the head.

Günter Brus

Austrian Artist- Performance Art, Video Art

Günter Brus is an Austrian artist known for his controversial films, performances, and paintings. He was notably a member of the Viennese Actionist Group alongside Otto Muehl and Hermann Nitsch. “Pure painting or the art of drawing whose point of departure is based on purely formal criteria is, in my opinion, passé,” he has said. Born on September 27, 1938 in Ardning, Austria, he studied at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Graz before transferring to the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. In 1960, the artist’s interest in the paintings of Jackson Pollock led his transition into making performance-based paintings regarding his own body. Many of the Viennese Actionist’s radical acts were intended as reactions to what they considered the ongoing legacy of Nazi fascism in Austrian culture. His 1968 performance Kunst und Revolution, consisted of the artist consuming his own urine, masturbating in public, and vomiting, he was subsequently jailed for six months. Brus currently lives and works in Graz, Austria. Today, his works are held in the collections of the National Galleries of Scotland in Edinburgh, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Essl Collection of Contemporary Art in Austria, among others. (

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