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During the summer of 1960, Brus created a series of paintings, which he described as ‘pure outpourings’. Influenced by American action painting and by Arnulf Rainer, these highly spontaneous works were important precursors for his later performances. This work is characterised by vigorous brushstrokes that reflect the frenetic movements of the artist’s body. Brus painted with worn-down brushes that caused scratches in the brown packing paper he used as his canvas, heightening the impression of spontaneity and fervour. ‘One has to live in painting’, he has commented.

July 2008