Gerhard Rühm (b.1930) is an Austrian writer, visual artist, composer, performer of experimental / phonetic poetry, radio and theatre author and publisher. He is considered one of the most important artists of experimental poetry. He studied piano and composition at the National Academy of Music and Interpretative Arts in Vienna and later received private tuition from Josef Matthias Hauer. He lives in Cologne and Vienna.

Gerhard Rühm was a founding member of the “Wiener Gruppe” (1954-1960) with Friedrich Achleitner, H.C. Artmann, Konrad Bayer, and Oswald Wiener. Given the radicalism of their writing, works of art, and happenings, the group is considered to be the first avantgarde movement in Austria, thus contributing decisively to the origin of the Vienna Actionism.

Rühm belongs to the classics of modern German-language literature. Scores of new genres, such as "visual music", "auditory poetry" and "gestural drawing", are among his wide-ranging, heterogenous work that emerges from the interface of literature, visual art and music. His work, which bears the influence of Expressionism and Dadaism, is often based on ready-made material taken from everyday life, which he then adapts using a particular formula. In a spirit of play, and without subjecting himself too rigidly to self-imposed rules, astounding, multi-layered effects of meaning emerge from an extreme concentration of means.

Gerhard Rühm 2011 (c) Daniel Löwenbrück
Litaneien - Lautgedichte - Sprechduette
(CD, Tochnit Aleph TA107, August 2012)

37 solo text-pieces, phonetic poems and poetry duets (with Monika Lichtenfeld) written and composed between 1952 and 2010. Recorded 2011 at Piethopraxis Tonstudio, Cologne by Marcus Schmickler. Comes with 24 page booklet with liner notes by Gerhard Rühm in english & german. Edition of 460 copies + 40 copies signed with DVD.

Eine rituelle Rezitation
(CD, Tochnit Aleph TA126, February 2014)

First release of Gerhard Rühm's Radio-Play 'Masoch'. A ritual recitation of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch and Ignatius von Loyola for one female and one male speaker, a chorus of speakers, and two mute actors. Edition of 300 copies.
When the sexual pathologist Richard von Krafft-Ebing coined the term »masochism« in 1890, he was referring to the preferred literary topic and the lived obsessions of the Austrian writer Leopold von Sacher-Masoch. With the help of biographical highlights based on various documentary material, Gerhard Rühm has developed a type of anecdotal psychogram of Sacher-Masoch’s personality. In this process, "a parallel counterpart crystallized almost inevitably: the figure of Ignatius von Loyola, for whom the obscure inner compulsion of total subjugation" Rühm says "manifested itself from seemingly contrary motivations – the eradication rather than stimulation of the flesh."