The important Vienna Actionist Hermann Nitsch once said, ""Red is the color that people register the most because it is simultaneously the color of life and death."" Originally inspired by French Tachisme and American Abstract Expressionism, Nitsch began working with paint in the late 1950s and early 60s, putting on ""theatrical painting actions"" in order to produce large-scale spill paintings. Up until the very early 1960s, his canvases were often still stained with evocative rivers of red paint; over the ensuing years, he would gradually replace paint with blood and stretched canvases with unstretched bed sheets, bringing an assortment of new and highly charged ""materials"" into his practice, including internal organs, animal cadavers and human bodies. From the 1960s until the late 1990s, Nitsch staged nearly 100 ritualistic performance actions in his Theater of Orgies and Mysteries series. Through the complete set of these often incendiary actions, which included live slaughters, dance, music and other pagan gestures, Nitsch realized his concept for a total work of art that brings together painting, architecture and music with the catharsis of self-recognition.