Günter Brus

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Günter Brus
Born (1938-09-27)27 September 1938
Ardning, Styria, Austria
Nationality Austrian
Occupation painter, performance artist, graphic artist, writer
Known for being one of the main figures of Viennese Actionism

Günter Brus (born September 27, 1938, Ardning, Styria, Austria) is a controversial Austrian painter, performance artist, graphic artist and writer.

He was the co-founder in 1964 of Viennese Actionism (German: Wiener Aktionismus) together with Otto Muehl, Hermann Nitsch, and Rudolf Schwarzkogler. His aggressively presented actionism intentionally disregarded conventions and taboos with the intent of shocking the viewer. Sentenced to 6 months in prison after the "Kunst und Revolution" event at the University of Vienna in 1968, he fled to Berlin with his family and returned to Austria in 1976. Brus urinated into a glass then proceeded to cover his body in his own excrement, and ended the piece by drinking his own urine. During the performance Brus also sang the Austrian National Anthem while masturbating. Brus ended the piece by vomiting and was subsequently arrested. Through this piece and his other performance works, Brus hoped to reveal the still fascist essence of the nation. Brus also was editor of the "Schastrommel" (author's edition) from 1969 on. He was involved into the NO!Art movement.

Brus was awarded the Grand Austrian State Prize in 1997. Most of his works are shocking and controversial. The Joanneum now houses a permanent gallery, called the Bruseum, featuring the work of Brus and fellow Viennese Actionists.

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