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Günter Brus. Post-direct Art - Drawings, Picture Poems, Photographs and Graphics Exhibition
Günter Brus, Untergang = Erlösung 1975, Ölkreiden und Bleistift auf Papier Blatt: 295 x 412 mm MdM Salzburg.

SALZBURG.- Since the foundation of the MdM Rupertinum the museum’s collection has focused on the multifaceted oeuvre of Günter Brus, largely owing to the efforts of its first director Otto Breicha. Partial aspects of the comprehensive artistic work of Brus have been presented before in various exhibitions, and now, on the occasion of the artist’s 70th birthday, the MdM Salzburg dedicates a small “retrospective” to Brus, which is on show at the MdM Rupertinum; this exhibition also illustrates the artist’s stylistic language and their main emphases and how these are represented in the museum’s collecting activities. Moreover, the exhibition is organized in conjunction with the publication of a catalogue raisonne of etchings and lithographs by Günter Brus by the publishing house Springer Verlag, Vienna - New York. (“Günter Brus - Kratzspuren / Scratchmarks” Radierungen und Lithographien 1971–2007 Etchings and Lithographs 1971–2007; Haubenhofer, Dietmar; Curtze, Heike; Sommer, Gerhard (Hrsg.) 2008, 175 S. 127 Abb. in Farbe, Geb.)

The photographic oeuvre of Günter Brus, which was considered scandalous at the time, started with rare early portrait studies of the 1960s and accompanied his actionist performances. A selection of works from the comprehensive photographic collection of the MdM Salzburg portrays the artist as an actionist with a keen interest in graphics, for whom the “pictorial” quality of his documents was as important as the tradition-breaking aspect of his actions.

After his last action, called “Zerreissprobe” (“breaking test”) and performed in Munich in 1970, (which is also generally viewed as the end of actionism), Günter Brus started to use his drawings and poems as a means of developing his destructive body art and hallucinatory phantasmagorias beyond his own physis.

Brus’ large-format drawings form the 1970s and 1980s – called “Häute” or “skins” by the artist – approach a baroque, opulent and preciously coloured pictorial composition with this impetus. From the extensive oeuvre of pictorial works, the exhibition displays some complex picture-text combinations, numerous individual sheets as well as whole cycles of etchings and lithographs.

Sketches of invitations and posters made by Brus for his exhibitions at the Rupertinum bear testimony to the museum’s long-standing and intensive collaboration with the artist. The exhibition was curated by Dr. Margit Zuckriegl.

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