Otto Muehl (born June 16, 1925, at Grodnau, Burgenland, Austria) is an Austrian artist, who is best known as one of the co-founders as well as a main participant of Viennese Actionism. In 1972 he founded the Friedrichshof Commune, which has been viewed by some as an authoritarian sect1 that existed for several years before falling apart in the 1990s. Muehl himself was sentenced to 7 years imprisonment for sexual offences with adolescents. He was released after serving six and a half years and set up a smaller commune in Portugal.
In 1943, Otto Muehl served in the Wehrmacht and in 1944 he was sent to the Front. After the war, he studied teaching German and History, and Pedagogy of Art at the Wiener Akademie der bildenden Künste.
In the sixties his aim was ‘to overcome painting on canvas through staging the process of its destruction’. He made rhizomatic structures with scrap iron (“Gerümpelplastiken”), but soon proceeded to the “Aktion” in… read more