Hermann Nitsch

1938 Born in Vienna.
1953 Decides to become a religious painter and enters the Graphische Lehr- und Versuchsanstalt in Vienna. The following year, he begins to paint works primarily on religious subjects, Crucifixion in particular.
1957 Invents the Orgy Mystery Theater; invents the initial concept for the Six Day Play, not performed until 1998.
1960 First exhibition in Vienna (jointly with Fritz Kindl). Meets Rudolf Schwartzkogler. Demonstrates his first action paintings.
1961 Continues to create action paintings. Meets Otto Mühl.
1962 Publishes, together with Mühl and Adolf Frohner, the manifesto Die Blutorgel (“The Bloody Organ”), considered the start of Viennese Actionism. Stages his first action (also featuring Mühl), which lasts 30 minutes.
1962 Stages his second action, using paint, blood, and a slaughtered lamp. His third action (The Festival of Psycho-Physical Naturalism) is broken up by the police — Nitsch and Mühl are sentenced to two weeks’ imprisonment (Nitsch appealed the verdict, but was unsuccessful and served his sentence in 1965).
1964 An exhibition in Galerie Junge Generation is closed by order of the mayor of Vienna two days after it opens; Nitsch’s lecture scheduled as part of the exhibition is also banned.
1966 Following his nineteenth action in Galerie Dvorak, Nitsch is arrested for five days (he is accused of displaying his action in the public gallery space). Later, accused of offending religious sentiment, he is ordered to refrain from artistic activity for six months.
1967 Leaves Austria and spends the next few years in Germany and the US.
1968 Marries Beate König.
1971 Beate König buys Prinzendorf Castle near Vienna for the Orgy Mystery Theater. Nitsch subsequently begins to live in the castle nearly year-round and stages the majority of his actions there.
1972 Participates in Documenta 5.
1973 Stages his 41st action, the first in Prinzendorf Castle.
1974 His 43rd action is broken up by the Munich police. Following his 45th action in Naples he is extradited from Italy.
1977 Beate König dies in a car accident.
1982 Participates in Documenta 7.
1988 Marries Rita Leitenbor.
1989 Appointed professor at Salzburg Summer Academy.
1995 Invited to design sets and costumes for the Vienna Opera’s production of Jules Massenet’s Hérodiade.
1998 The first full-length production of the Six Day Play (his 100th action) is held in Prinzendorf.
2001 Designs sets and costumes for Philip Glass’ opera Satyagraha in St. Pölten.
2003 Retrospective in ESSL Museum, Klosterneuberg, Austria.
2005 Awarded the Grand Austrian State Prize.
2006 Retrospective in Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin.
2007 Opens the Hermann Nitsch Museum in Mistelbach, near Prinzendorf. The Hermann Nitsch Museum opens in Naples in the same year.