The ESTATE OTTO MUEHL was founded in early 2019 and for the first time, combines Otto Muehl’s entire legacy. It manages both the holdings of the artist established ARCHIVES OTTO MUEHL foundation as well as the holdings of the SAMMLUNG FRIEDRICHSHOF.
For decades, many of Otto Muehl’s works, which were created after the end of „Vienna Actionism“ were simply not accessible to the public, due not only to his nomadic and in every respect, radical biography, but also because of his distinct and pronounced skepticism of the „art system“ and its distribution and evaluation mechanisms. Thus, the works deprived themselves so to speak, from continual art historical reappraisal and evaluation by museums and institutions. The merger of the works held in the Estate Otto Muehl allows for a systematic, critical, scientific analysis and contextualization of all Muehl’s creative periods.
The goal of the Estate Otto Muehl is the development of the artist’s oeuvre, the creation of a catalogue raisonné, the establishment of hitherto largely unknown works and groups of works in the context of international exhibitions in museums and institutions, as well as the better positioning of post-Actionist works in the international art market, in collaboration with galleries worldwide.
The Estate Otto Muehl would like to point out that Otto Muehl was sentenced to seven years prison for offences committed (sexual abuse of minors and offences
against the drug laws) and that he served his full sentence. In 2010 during his exhibition at the Leopold Museum, he apologised to his victims in a text which was published in the
The Estate Otto Muehl does not exhibit works in which the artist portrays his victims, out of respect for those involved, and we recognise the necessity for critical discussion of Otto Muehl’s transgressions in the Friedrichshof commune. The Estate Otto Muehl also believe in the democratic principle of freedom of artistic expression and reject attempts to hinder the presentation of Otto Muehl’s artistic work and to negate his oeuvre.
The collection was compiled under Theo Altenberg in the 1980s by the Aktions-Analytische Kommune (Action Analytical Commune) of Otto Muehl and introduced to a cooperative after the end of the Commune in 1990. The Sammlung Friedrichshof currently owns the most extensive private collection of works by Vienna Actionism artists from the 1960s and early 1970s. In addition, the collection contains ca. 5000 works by Otto Muehl from 1946 until 1991.
Archives Otto Muehl represents and maintains the collection of the artist’s foundation. This collection includes works from 1937 until 2019: oil and acrylic paintings, aquarelles, drawings, silkscreen prints, objects, actions, photos, films, texts and music. Moreover, the Archives Otto Muehl is the only organization authorized by the artist to proof the authenticity of his works.
Other institutions holding archival material, photographs and works by Otto Muehl, include the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles as well as the the International competence center for Vienna Actionism at the Museum für moderne Kunst (mumok) in Vienna.