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  • 1925

    Otto Muehl is born in Grodnau, Burgenland, Austria, son of a primary school teacher.

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    Otto Muehl
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  • 1945

    takes part in the Ardennes offensive, escapes from Soviet captivity.

  • 1952

    teacher´s degree in German and History (University of Vienna), probational year in a school in Vienna.

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  • 1953

    studies at the Academy of Fine arts, Vienna, attends Heimo Kuchling´s lectures on morphology.

  • 1954

    1954 until 1963: art therapist in a home for emotionally disturbed children run by the psychoanalyst Eva Rosenfeld, a pupil of Sigmund Freud.

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  • 1960

    meets Günter Brus and Alfons Schilling.

  • 1961 – 1970

    the "big bang" of actionism: destruction of the picture – junk sculpture – material actions.

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  • 1961

    meets Hermann Nitsch, they decide to perform the immurement action in the Perinet cellar.

  • 1962

    three day immurement action with Nitsch and Frohner, "Blutorgel".

  • 1963

    "Fest des psycho–physischen Naturalismus", program: throwing a kitchen dresser filled with marmelade and flour out of the window. 14 days arrest.

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  • 1964

    marries Friedel Neiss.

  • 1966

    Gustav Metzger invites him to participate in the Destruction in Arts Symposium (DIAS) in London.

  • 1967

    founds ZOCK with Oswald Wiener.

  • 1968

    "Kunst und Revolution". Action at the University of Vienna. Günter Brus, Otto Muehl and Oswald Wiener sentenced to 2 months prison.

  • 1970

    participates in the "Happening und Fluxus" exhibition curated by Harald Szeemann in Cologne. Performs radical actions. Publishes "ZOCK: Aspekte einer Totalrevolution".

  • 1973

    participates in Dokumenta V organized by Harald Szeemann.

  • 1970 – 1990


    otto muehl
    Photo: Philippe Dutartre
  • 1970

    founds the Praterstrasse Commune in Vienna, based on the principles of free sexuality, common property, collective education of the children. Later known as the AAO (Actions Analytical Organization), the commune moves to Friedrichshof in 1973. The artistic action is transformed into self–expression. "The painting thrown out of the window" is transformed into action concepts. Production of action painting films.

    otto muehlOtto Muehlotto muehl
    Photo: Alberto AlvimPhoto: Alberto AlvimPhoto: Alberto Alvim
  • 1987

    now numbering 700 members, the commune is economically highly successful – which leads to conflict and rifts. Purchase of a bay on Gomera, in the Canary Islands.

  • 1988

    marries claudia weissensteiner.

  • 1991

    after 21 years of existence the Friedrichshof Commune breaks up. Otto Muehl is sentenced to seven years prison by the Burgenland Provincial Court for "criminal acts against morality" and offences against the illegal drugs act. He rejects the verdict.

  • 1991

    1991 until 1997 in prison: produces numerous drawings and paintings.

  • 1997

    after 6 1/2 years he is released suffering from morbus Parkinson and half–blind in one eye. Since then he lives in the Art–Life Family in the Algarve in Southern Portugal together with seven artist families.

    otto muehl
    Photo: Daniéle Roussel
  • 1998

    Burgtheater Vienna; Claus Peymann invites him to read from "letters from prison" and to perform his dramulett "Muchl".
    MAK Museum of Applied Arts Vienna; "7", a retrospective of the prison works.
    "Wiener Sezession 1898 – 1998 the century of artistic freedom"; Muehl´s work "Keinen Keks Heute" vandalized with paint, a court order prohibits further display of the work in Austria.

    otto muehl
  • 2000

    Le Louvre, Paris; participates in "La peinture comme crime", curated by Régis Michel.

  • 2001

    founding of the "Art & Life Sahara Baby Jazz Band." Develops the theme of the shark in his paintings. Actionist "grimuid" representations.

    otto muehl
    Photo: Daniéle Roussel
  • 2002 – 2005

    despite increasing health problems with parkinson, he develops electric painting films, digital photos of actions painted on computer and edited into films. The themes are his day–to–day life and the life in the group.
    Also working on exzess–art objects; paint is applied on the canvas direct from the tube and attains the luminosity of computer painting.

  • 2004

    MAK Vienna Museum of Applied Arts; Retrospective "Otto Muehl Leben/Kunst/Werk Aktion Utopie Malerei 1960–2004".
    National Museum of Modern Art Tokyo and Kyoto "TRACES – Body and Idea in Contemporary Art".

  • 2005

    Kulturstiftung Phoenix Art, Sammlung Falckenberg, Hamburg
    16.06.2005 the exhibition "Otto Muehl Jenseits von Zucht und Ordnung" opens on otto muehl’s 80th birthday.

    the michele maccarone art gallery in new york becomes the gallery of otto muehl.

  • 2006

    "landscape in your mind"
    austrian cultural forum new york

    "body face and soul"
    the female image from the 16th to the 21st century
    leopold museum vienna österreich

    "eye on europe"
    prints, books & multiples / 1960 to now
    MoMA the museum of modern art new york

  • 2007

    "konzept. aktion. sprache."
    fokus 03: wiener gruppe, wiener aktionismus, fluxus und konzeptkunst aus der sammlung
    mumok — museum moderner kunst stiftung ludwig vienna

  • 2008

    "accionismo vienés"
    brus · muehl · nitsch · schwarzkogler
    obras de la collección hummel
    centro andaluz de arte contemporáneo
    sevilla spain

  • 2009

    "mapping the studio"
    artists from the françois pinault collection
    punta della dogana — palazzo grassi
    venice italy

  • 2010

    june 16 otto muehl’s 85th birthday

    film premiere:
     "becoming otto"
     vincent juillerat
     "apokalypse / keinen keks heute"
     acrylic on canvas with a collage by otto muehl, 1998/2010
    mak museum für angewandte kunst wien

    "otto muehl" from the collection leopold
    leopold museum vienna

  • 26.05.2013

    Otto Muehl died peacefully in Portugal amongst the "Art Life Family".


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