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Günter Brus, born1938 in Ardning/Austria, the head of "Viennese Actionism," was born in 1938 in Ardning, Austria. He began his studies at the Kunstgewerbeschule Graz (1954-1958), then enrolled for two years at the Academy of Applied Arts in Vienna. In 1960 he leaves this institution without graduating. Instead, the young artist travels to Mallorca and creates his first paintings and hand drawings in the Informel style|1964 becomes the fateful year for Günter Brus. Together with Otto Mühl, Rudolf Schwarzkogler and Hermann Nitsch, he launched "Viennese Actionism". Epochal art actions followed until 1970, such as "Selbstbemalung I + II" and the "Selbstverstümmelungen" (Self-Mutilations), of which drawings and scores also bear eloquent witness.

Günter Brus always sought provocation. In 1968, this even led to his being sentenced to six months in prison in the course of the "Art + Revolution" action for "degrading Austrian symbols" and "violating morality and shamefulness". Brus flees to Berlin; the last action takes place on German soil in 1970 ("Zerreißprobe" in Munich).

From the 1970s onwards, Günter Brus again devoted himself increasingly to hand drawing. He is particularly interested in the interaction of text and image, the "image-poetry". Free drawings are also increasingly produced from the 1970s onwards, also in combination with action art ("Arbeitssitzungen"). The "Imprimaturen" and "Trivialeums-Überzeichnungen" form the most extensive drawing complexes.

In Austria, meanwhile, things do not get quieter around Günter Brus. His prison sentence was commuted to a fine, but in 1977 he was again charged with insulting religion and pornography. Regardless of this, Brus moved to Graz in 1979, where he soon turned increasingly to his poetic oeuvre. Günter Brus, participant of the Documenta shows 5, 6 and 7, who has been honored by his own museum since 2011 (BRUSEUM in the Landesmuseum Joanneum), has major international solo exhibitions throughout his career. In 1986, a first comprehensive retrospective made guest appearances in Vienna, Munich, and Düsseldorf; in 1993, the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris presented a show of his work; in 1999, another one was on view in Tübingen, Kiel, and Linz. Such renowned museums as the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, the Hamburger Kunsthalle, the London Tate Gallery, the Munich Lenbachhaus and the New York Museum of Modern Art present his works. Günter Brus lives and works in Graz and Spain.