Tag Archives: Friedrichshof Commune

So long, Otto Muehl


Controversial Austrian painter Otto Muehl has died in Portugal, aged 87.  Muehl was co-founder of the Viennese Actionist movement, notorious for bloody and violent work – often incorporating viscera and the human body – that intended to shock audiences out of a state of complacency.  The Actionists’s work was so extreme in fact, that during the 1960s Muehl and his counterparts (including Guenter Brus, Hermann Nitsch and Rudolf Schwarzkogler) all spent time in prison for violating decency laws.  Muehl’s personal life was equally excessive.  In the 1970s he established the Friedrichshof Commune just outside of Vienna, attracting 600 residents at its height.  In 1991 Muehl was convicted and sentenced to seven years in prison for drug possession and sex with minors while living there.  The commune disbanded soon after.

Above: ‘Mama und Papa’ (1964), by Otto Muehl and Kurt Kren.