Selected Authors
November 9, 2003
Museum of Tolerance
Gottfried Helnwein
Catalogue, (page 80-84)
Biography and Credits
On November 9th, 2003, for the 65th anniversary of “Kristallnacht”,
NINTH NOVEMBER NIGHT, a documentary on the art of Gottfried Helnwein
premiered at the Simon Wiesenthal Center/Museum of Tolerance Los Angeles.
Director: Henning Lohner
Co-Director & Editor: Max Carlson
Director of Photography: Darren Rydstrom
Additional Camera: Jason Lee, Bernd Reinhardt
Guest Curator for the presentation: Gisela Guttman
The documentary and this catalogue were made possible thanks to the generous assistance of the Austrian Federal Chancellery, Department of Culture,
the Modernism Gallery San Francisco and Mary and Steven Swig.
Special thanks to Gisela Guttman and Renate Helnwein for their endless support and passion for this project.
And thanks to everybody who supported the presentation of the Ninth November Night project of Gottfried Helnwein in Los Angeles, to Franz Morak, Austrian Secretary of State for the Arts and Media, to Mr. Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal, Consul General of Austria, Martin Muller, Gavin Spanierman, Spanierman Contemporary, N.Y.C; Claudia Teissig, Jason Lee, Hans Janitschek, Ariane Riecker, Van Carlson, Mary Rodriguez, Mercedes Helnwein, and to the Simon Wiesenthal Center / Museum of Tolerance Los Angeles, Liebe Geft, Director and Lorraine Sais, Coordinator, Arts and Lectures for hosting the presentation.

Page 15 William Burroughs, excerpt from Helnwein's Work , 1990
Page 20 Roland Mischke, excerpt from Äfflinge und Tschandalen, Ninth November Night - a lane of pictures
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, October 11, 1988
Page 27 Simon Wiesenthal, Thoughts.
Gottfried Helnwein, Neunter November Nacht - Selektion, catalogue,
Ludwig Museum, Cologne, 1988.
Page 32 Charles-Henri Favrod, Director of the Musée de l'Elysée Lausanne, Reichskristallnacht – Night and Fog.
Gottfried Helnwein, Ninth November Night - Selektion, catalogue, 1990.
Page 33-34 Reinhold Mißelbeck, Curator for Photography and New Media, Ludwig Museum Cologne, Ninth November Night
Gottfried Helnwein, Ninth November Night-Selektion, catalogue,1988.
Page 38 Robert Flynn Johnson, Curator in charge, Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.
Excerpt from Helnwein, catalogue, Sandelson Gallery, London, 2001.
Page 40-43 Johnathon Keats The Art of Humanity, 2003.
Jonathon Keats is a novelist, artist, and critic. He lives in San Francisco.
Page 46 Alexander Borovsky, Curator for Contemporary Art at the State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, excerpt from The Helnwein Passion.
Helnwein, monograph, Palace Edition, The State Russian Museum St. Petersburg, 1997.
Könemann Verlagsgesellschaft, Cologne, Germany, 1998.
Page 50 Gottfried Helnwein, My Art is not an Answer - it is a Question, 2003.
Page 56 Peter Zawrel, Director of the Museum of Lower Austria.
Excerpt from Against Harmlessness in Art.
Apokalypse, catalogue for the one man show and installation by Gottfried Helnwein at the Dominican Church, Krems, 1999.
Page 64 Mic Moroney, excerpt from The Murmur of the Innocents.
Helnwein, catalogue, Kilkenny Arts Festival, Ireland, 2001.
Mic Moroney is a writer, artist, and critic. He lives in Dublin.
Page 68 Robert Flynn Johnson, Curator in charge, Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.
Excerpt from Helnwein, catalogue, Sandelson Gallery, London, 2001.
Page 68 Chris Dooley, excerpt from Police Investigates Kilkenny Art Attacks.
The Irish Times, 18. August 2001.
Page 68 Mic Moroney, excerpt from The Murmur of the Innocents.
Helnwein, catalogue, Kilkenny Arts Festival, Ireland, 2001.
Page 68 Peter Selz, Professor Emeritus, Department of Art History, University of California, Berkeley.
Former Curator at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and Founding Director of the Berkeley Art Museum.
Excerpt from Helnwein: The Artist as Provocateur.
Helnwein, monograph, The State Russian Museum St.Petersburg, 1997.
Page 73 Heiner Müller, Black Mirror.
From Der Untermensch, - Self-portraits of Gottfried Helnwein.
One man show at the Musée d’Art Moderne, Strasbourg, 1987.
Catalogue Edition Braus, Heidelberg, 1987.
German/English: Neil Galanter, Edward Martin, Gertraud Trivedi, Maria Clay.
Russian/English: The State Russian Museum St. Petersburg.
page 1 and page 84: From the book Der Mann der Hitler die Ideen gab - Jörg Lanz von Liebenfels by Wilfried Daim, Ueberreuter, Wien 1994
Page 2 - 3: Photograph Bernhard Schaub, Cologne
Page 4 - 7: Photographs Martin Dettloff, Berlin
Page 57 - 61: Photographs Alfred Pohl, Vienna
All other Images and photographs: copyright : © by Gottfried Helnwein, 2003
Layout: Anouk de Jonge
Printing: Marina Graphics, Los Angeles
Retrospective at the Chinese Museum for the Arts, Beijing, China
and installation in the Forbidden City.
Presented by the Central Academy for Fine Art, Beijing.
"The Child," one man show at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.
One man show at the Crawford Municipal Gallery in Cork, Ireland.
Installation of "Ninth November Night-Selection" in Cork, Ireland.
"Ninth November Night ", Museum of Tolerance, Simon Wiesenthal Center, Los Angeles.
Commemoration of "Kristallnacht" 1938
The art of Gottfried Helnwein, 35 years examining the fascistic legacy of Germany and Austria, documenting intolerance and violence, with the main focus on the weakest of the victims - the children.
"Modern Sleep" The 20x60 feet installation at the Los Angeles Art Show
depicts 2 children in uniforms (sleeping?).
"Paradise Burning" (The American Paintings III), one man show at Modernism Gallery, San Francisco.
"The Golden Age of Grotesque", Volksbühne, Berlin, exhibition with Marilyn Manson dealing with the decadence and so-called "degenerate" art in Weimar Berlin before its deconstruction.
Helnwein establishes a studio in downtown Los Angeles.
"Downtown" (The American paintings II), one man show at Modernism Gallery in San Francisco.
"In the Blink of an Eye - Photo Art", (Augenblick - Foto Kunst), group show.
Museum Kunst der Gegenwart, Collection Essl, Klosterneuburg/Vienna.
Kilkenny Arts Festival, Ireland.
"Ephiphany I", 8x12m (25x36 feet), on the wall of Kilkenny Castle.
One man show at the Butler House and Installation in the city of Kilkenny at the annual Arts Festival, with large digital prints of children's faces and monochromatic blue scenes at the facades of houses in the medieval town center.
Painting - Austrian Artists now.
Albertina, Vienna and the Museum of Fine Art, Budapest.
Stage design and costumes for Stravinsky's "Rake's progress" at the State Opera in Hamburg (Hamburgische Staatsoper).
Director: Jurgen Flimm, coductor: Ingo Metzmacher.
"Between Earth and Heaven, New Classical Movements in the Art of Today".
Museum of Modern Art, Oostende, Belgium. Installation "Fall of the Angels", digital print, 7X10m.
Helnwein's “Mickey” (1995, oil and acrylic on canvas, 83" x 122") at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
"The Darker Side of Playland: Childhood Imagery from the Logan Collection", group show.
One man show at Robert Sandelson Gallery, London.
Inspired by Helnwein's work and based on his early paintings, Argentinean writer Rodrigo M. Malmsten creates the play "Kleines Helnwein", dealing with the issues fascism, violence and children. Premiere at the Theatro San Martin in Buenos Aires.
The Ludwig Museum, Cologne, “Augenblick und Endlichkeit - Das von der Photographie geprägte Jahrhundert”.
40 great photographers of the 20th century, group show.
Gottfried at the Ludwig Museum, Cologne, "Augenblick und Endlichkeit".
Los Angeles County Museum of Art , "Ghost in the Shell", Photography and the Human Soul, 1850-2000, group show.
"Apokalypse", one man show and Installation at the Gothic Dominican-Church in Krems, Austria.
County Museum of Lower Austria.
"20 Years Modernism, Modern Masters and Contemporary Art", Modernism Gallery San Francisco.
“Innovation / Imagination: 50 years of Polaroid Photography”, Ansel Adams Center, San Francisco.
One man show at the Wäinö Aaltonen Museum of Art, Turku, Finland.
Collector Fritz Gruber donates the installation "Poems" to the Ludwig Museum in Cologne.
"Götter, Helden und Idole" (Gods, Heroes und Idols), Ludwig Institut Schloss Oberhausen, Germany.
"Choice", Exit Art, New York, an exhibition presenting the work of young, emerging artists, chosen by leading contemporary artists, like Ida Appelbrook, Damien Hirst, Cindy Sherman and Gottfried Helnwein.
Retrospective at the State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg.
The collectors Peter and Irene Ludwig donate 53 works of Helnwein to the Ludwig Museum in the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg.
Installation "Ninth November Night - Selektion" in St, Petersburg.
"Die Hamletmaschine" by Heiner Müller.
Version by Gert Hof and Gottfried Helnwein,
47th Berliner Festwochen, Arena, Berlin and Muffathalle, Munich.
Helnwein presents "Epiphany I" for the first time.
Helnwein's painting "Dresden" at the Opening group show of the Ludwig Museum at the National Chinese Museum of Fine Art, Beijing.
Helnwein moves with his family to Ireland.
Helnwein works on "Poems" - a series of photographic pictures of people who have died a violent death.
He photographs the photographs of dead people and again, and again photographs the photographs of the photographs ultimately to the point of dissolution.
Installation "Ninth November Night - Selektion" in Berlin, Kulturbrauerei.
Helnwein’s portraits of Bukowski and Burroughs at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art – exhibition: photography selected from the museum collection.
Set and costumes for "Pasolini" at the Schauspielhaus theatre in Hamburg;.
directed by Hans Kresnik.
One man show and installation "Ninth November Night" at the Fine Arts Museum, Otaru, Japan.
Group exhibition and Helnwein’s installation "Ninth November Night" at the Städtische Galerie, Ludwig Institut, Oberhausen.
"Versuche zu trauern" (Attempts to Mourn). Masterpieces of the Ludwig Collection from antiquity to the present day.
Installation of a picture of a monochromic blue face of 25x16 metres (75x50 feet) in Vienna on a building in the city centre.
Collectors Peter and Irene Ludwig purchase "Child's Head" for the museum in St. Petersburg and "Dresden" for the Ludwig Museum in Beijing.
"Faces" one man show in the Centre International Contemporain d'Art in Montreal.
Helnwein works on "Fire" - a series of dark monochrome paintings with the faces of Arthur Rimbaud, Jim Morrison, Malcolm X, Mishima, Mayakovski, Rosa Luxemburg, Ulrike Meinhof and others.
"Das Jahrzehnt der Malerei" (The Decade of Painting).
Austrian Artists of the Schömer Collection, Vienna.
Kunstverein Augsburg, Germany.
Helnwein works intensively on the development of new artistic techniques.
He creates new mixed-media techniques by developing, changing, altering and combining various images on the computer and painting them finally with different media on canvas, (usually: oil, acrylic and ink-jet).
One man show "Faces" at the Rheinisches Landesmuseum, Bonn.
"Faces", one man show in the Munich Stadtmuseum.
Installation "Neunter November Nacht - Selektion", Museum St. Ingbert, Albert Weisgerber Foundation, Saarland.
"Aktion-Reaktion", exhibition of the Austrian painters Rainer, Nitsch, Brus, and Helnwein - works from the Schömer collection.
Foundation Fiecht, Austria.
Helnwein’s "48 Portraits" in the "Künstlerportraits" exhibition.
Ludwig Forum in Aachen.
Helnwein’s self-portrait “Black Mirror” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Group show: photographs from the collection of the museum.
One man show at the Pfalzgalerie Museum in Kaiserslautern and at the Kunstmuseum in Thun.
Installation “Selektion – Neunter November Nacht” in the center of the city Heilbronn, Germany.
Installation "Kindskopf" (Child's Head) at the Minoriten Church in Krems, Niederösterreichisches Landesmuseum (Museum of Lower Austria).
Helnwein paints a 6x4 m (18x12 feet) child's head for the apse of the early Gothic basilica. Ten days before the opening he has his children Amadeus, Ali Elvis and Mercedes paint large-format canvases which he then arranges in the basilica.
Works on the "48 Portraits".
a series of 48 monochromatic red pictures of women, including a portrait of Anne Frank (oil on canvas) as a counterpart to Gerhard Richter's "48 Portraits" of 1971, which depict only men in monochromatic grey.
The cycle of paintings is later acquired by collector Peter Ludwig for the Ludwig Museum in Aachen.
Helnwein works on a series of dark monochromatic paintings.
He applies more and more layers of oil varnish to his realistic blue monochrome pictures till the subjects are almost indiscernible.
One man show in the Musée de l'Elysée, Lausanne.
Set and costumes for
“The Persecution and Murder of Jean Paul Marat, Performed by the Drama Group of the Hospice at Charenton under the Direction of Monsieur de Sade”.
By Peter Weiss, directed by Hans Kresnik at the Staatstheater in Stuttgart.
Photo session with Keith Richards at the Berlin Wall.
"Some facts about myself".
Collaboration with Marlene Dietrich on a Book project on Berlin after the Wall comes down: Helnwein takes photographs of the new Berlin and Marlene Dietrich writes an accompanying text.
Published by Kathleen Madden, New York.
One man show "Zeichnungen und Arbeiten auf Papier" (Drawings and Works on Paper) in the Folkwang Museum in Essen.
Helnwein meets William S. Burroughs in Lawrence, Kansas.
Works on a series of drawings and pastels: "Modern Sleep", "Gott als General" (God as General), "Das Wunderkind" (Child Prodigy), "Verbrannter Engel" (Burnt Angel).
"Torino Fotografia '89 Biennale Internazionale", exhibition with Clegg and Guttmann and David Hockney.
Stage design and costumes for "Oedipus" by Sophocles at Hans Kresnik's Choreographic Theatre in Heidelberg.
Stage design and costumes for "Carmina Burana" by Carl Orff at the Bayerische Staatsoper (opening of the 1990 Munich Festival).
When Wolfgang Sawallisch, the head of the Staatsoper, sees the radical costume design, he is so shocked that he immediately cancels the contracts with Helnwein and director Hans Kresnik.
Helnwein starts a colaboration with East German writer Heiner Müller, choreographer Hans Kresnik and dancer Ismael Ivo on a play about Antonin Artaud.
Helnwein's photographic work from 1970 to 1989 is published by Dai Nipon in Japan. Text by Toshiharu Ito.
"Ninth November Night – Selektion".
Large installation between the Ludwig Museum and the Dome of Cologne:
A four-metre-high, hundred-metre-long picture lane in which Gottfried Helnwein recalls the "Reichskristallnacht" on 9th November 1938. He confronts the passersby with larger-than-life children's faces lined up in a seemingly endless row, as if for concentration camp selection.
It was the 50th anniversary of that tragic event.
Set, costumes, and make-up for "Macbeth", a production of Hans Kresnik's choreographic theatre at the Stadttheater in Heidelberg.
The play is given an enthusiastic reception by audience and critics and is later awarded the Theatre Prize of Berlin.
Helnwein now works simultaneously on large-format monochrome-blue realistic oil and acrylic pictures and on monochrome abstract pictures.
"Der Untermensch", (The Sub-Human) self-portraits of Gottfried Helnwein from 1970 – 1987.
One man show at the Musée d'Art Moderne in Strasbourg.
Installation and exhibition-opera (performance) "Der Untermensch" at the Kunsthalle Bremen.
"Der Untermensch", self-portraits from 1970 – 1987.
Published by Edition Braus. Texts by Heiner Müller and Peter Gorsen.
Aktion "Gott der Untermenschen".
Performance at camp Kopal of the Austrian army.
One man exhibition at the Leopold Hoesch Museum in Düren and the Villa Stuck in Munich, Germany.
Parallel to the large-format, multi-part pictures and the photographic work, he now also turns to crayon drawings.
"Knabe und Neger" (Boy and Negro), "Triumph der Wissenschaft" (Triumph of Science), "Nachgeburt der Venus" (The Afterbirth of Venus), "Das Lügengebet" (The Prayer of Lies).
One man show in the Mittelrhein Museum, Koblenz, Germany.
One man show, Freie Volksbühne theatre in Berlin.
Podium discussion "Violence, Sexuality, Antiquity" with Heiner Müller, Hans Neuenfels, Ernest Bornemann, and Gottfried Helnwein.
He works on a series of large-format self-portrait metamorphoses, which have their origin in the self-portrait as screaming man blinded by forks.
Start of a series of photographic self-dramatizations using the themes of dying hero, SS man, martyr, sufferer, friend of children, and mummified corpse.
"Gott der Untermenschen" (God of Sub-Humans),
"Das stille Leuchten der Avantgarde" (The Silent Glow of the Avant-Garde),
"Bete Herr, denn wir sind nah!" (Pray, Lord, for We Are Near!),
"Eine Träne auf Reisen" (A Tear on a Journey),
"Der Tod des Expertentums" (The Death of Expertise),
"Partisanenliebe" (Partisan Love),
"Blitzkrieg der Liebe" (Blitzkrieg of Love),
"Geheime Elite" (Secret Elite),
"Gefäss der Leidenschaft" (Vessel of Passion).
One man show at the Albertina Museum, Vienna.
Catalogue with texts by Walter Koschatzky and Peter Gorsen.
Rudolf Hausner proposes Helnwein as his successor as head of the master class for painting at the Academy of Visual Arts in Vienna.

Moves to Germany and lives and works in a castle near Cologne.
He radically changes his way of working and now begins a series of large-format images consisting of several parts (diptychs, triptychs, poliptychs).
In doing so he combines photomurals with abstract gestural and monochrome painting in oil and acrylic, also using reproductions of Caspar David Friedrich paintings and war documentary photographs which he assembles to form what the critic Peter Gorsen calls "Bilderstrassen" (picture lanes). In doing this, Helnwein closely examines taboo areas and tackles terms such as "Untermensch" (sub-human), "entartete Kunst" (degenerate art), and "lebensunwertes Leben" (life unworthy of life).
Time magazine commissions Robert Rauschenberg and Gottfried Helnwein to design covers with Deng Xiaoping.
"Helnwein", the film by Peter Hajek, opens the Austrian Week in the Berlin film festival, "Berlinale".
The film is awarded the Adolf Grimme Prize and in the same year wins the Eduard Rhein Prize and the Golden Kader of the city of Vienna for outstanding camera work.
A self-portrait collage as a contribution to the "1984 - Orwell and the Present Day" exhibition in the Museum of Modern Art in Vienna.
His self-portrait is shown in the exhibition "Köpfe und Gesichter" (Heads and Faces) in the Darmstadt Kunsthalle.
One man show in the Stadtmuseum Munich.
The exhibition is seen by more than a hundred thousand people.
ZDF and ORF (German and Austrian National Television) produce the film "Helnwein", directed by Peter Hajek.
In Los Angeles, Helnwein meets Muhammad Ali, who appears in his film.

Bavarian Television produces a film portrait of Helnwein directed by Hans-Dieter Hartl.
Andy Warhol poses for Helnwein in New York for a series of photographs.
The Higher College of Visual Art (Fachhochschule für Gestaltung) in Hamburg offers Helnwein a Chair. Helnwein declines the offer.
Helnwein's portrait of Kennedy makes the cover of "Time" for the 20th anniversary of the President's death.
First monograph. Texts: H. C. Artmann, Botho Strauss, Wolfgang Bauer and Barbara Frischmuth.
One man show with pen-and-ink drawings in the Albertina Museum, Vienna.
With an open letter and the picture of a dead child lying with its head in a plate of poisoned food ("Lebensunwertes Leben" [Life Unworthy of Life]) he protests against Austria's number one forensic psychiatrist, the former euthanasia doctor, Dr. Gross, who admitted in an interview that in the Nazi era he had poisoned hundreds of children and called this method of killing humane.
Aktion (performance) in the International Year of the Child.
R. Höpfinger and E. Regnier hand out sweets and toys bearing texts and Helnwein pictures of wounded children to passers-by in Zürich.
Aktion "Allzeit Bereit" (Ever ready), performance at the Naschmarkt, Vienna.
Works on a series of pen-and-ink drawings on the subject of corrective devices.
"Metallippe zum Lächeln" (Metal Lip for Smiling), "Korrekturspange" (Corrective Brace).
Theodor Körner Prize.
ZDF (German national TV) film portrait "Helnweins Sehtest" (Helnwein's Eye Test), directed by Heinz Dieckmann.
Aktion "Weisse Kinder" (White Children), performance with 15 bandaged children in Kärntnerstrasse, in the centre of Vienna.
First edition of an etching "Meine Buben haben einen Türken in die Schlucht gestossen" (My Little Rascals Have Shoved a Turk into the Ravine).
Aktion "Sandra", performance at Gallery over the Stubenbastei, Vienna.
More pen-and-ink drawings and performances with children.
First cover for the political and cultural magazine "Profil" - "Selbstmord in Österreich" (Suicide in Austria) – many outraged readers cancel their subscriptions.
An exhibition of Helnwein paintings in the Gallery of the House of the Press in Vienna is closed after three days because of strong protests and strike threats by the works council.
Work on a series of pen-and-ink, crayon and pencil drawings.
Scratches and scrapes a series of self-portraits and child-photos with luminous stigma.
Kardinal König Prize.
One man show and performance at Galerie D in Mödling, near Vienna.
At the opening of the exhibition, the mayor has Helnwein-paintings confiscated by the police.
In an exhibition in the Vienna Künstlerhaus, unidentified people put "Entartete Kunst" (the Nazis' term for "degenerate art") stickers on Helnwein's paintings.
First public Aktions (performances) in Vienna in the streets, in coffee houses, etc..
First photographic self-portraits with bandages and surgical instruments.
Prize of the Academy for Fine Art, Vienna.
1969 to 1973
Studies painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna.
Works on a series of hyper-realistic paintings of wounded children.
Intensive research into the various forms of trivial aesthetics such as comics, advertising, and film; puts this experience into his work. Watercolors: "Unkeusches Kind" (Unchaste Child), "Peinlich" (Embarrassing), "Gemeines Kind" (Mean Child). First oil paintings: "Mutter, Du hier?" (Mother, Is It You?), "Führer, wir danken Dir!" (Führer, We Thank You!).
Walks with his friend Manfred Deix from Venice to Vienna over several days without eating or sleeping.
First Aktions (performances) with bandages and surgical instruments for a small audience.
1965 to 1969
Studies at the "Höhere Graphische Lehr- und Versuchsanstalt" (Experimental Institute for Higher Graphic Education).

Born in Vienna.

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