The business of Nitsch

[ed. note: this post responds to the series of posts on the work of Viennese Actionist Hermann Nitsch, now on view at Slought Foundation. See James Thacker’s most recent post for more and follow the links back down the rabbit hole.]

kippenberg, martin
Post by Joe Naujokas

nitschsaatchinicheHermann Nitsch is popular right now (and watch for Martin Kippenberger, too) maybe because Saatchi has decided that painting is back.


I was in London this past December, and his gallery is devoted to the painters he thinks are the most influential, including Nitsch. I believe he is even ridding his gallery of the [Damien Hirst] shark, et al. Even Hirst is “returning” to painting (left, a Nitsch hanging at Saatchi’s County Hall Gallery).

You only think you have been noticing more Nitsch. You have really just been sucked into the machine.

kippenbergsaatchikornerAnother trend to watch for is the decline of the white-box gallery (MoMA was old before it even opened), as stated by Saatchi and represented by his ornate County Hall setting (where he displays one painting per room, next to the fireplace). Is the ultimate driving force behind all this that rich collectors want something to hang on their walls? Stay tuned (right, here’s a Kippenberger in another room at Saatchi).

–Painter Joe Naujokas is a contributor to artblog.