Arnulf Rainer

Born 1929
Hometown Baden, Austria

Arnulf Rainer has been close to many vital artistic movements in his long career: surrealism, the Hundsgruppe, Viennese Actionism, the and Lord Jim Lodge along with Martin Kippenberger, Albert Oehlen, Jörg Schlick, and Wolfgang Bauer. Rainer’s mature work typically uses photographs or inkjet prints, which the artist defaces with crayon, paint, or ink. The resulting works continue a long dialogue of Viennese modernism, which questions the place and expressive possibilities of figuration and the movement of the human body in artistic creation. His works, such as his 1975 self-portraits, evoke the power of individual expressive acts in a photo-saturated culture by reaffirming painterly control over technical images and archetypal symbols, in this instance photographs of the artist in a crucifixion pose, drawn over with manic black marks. His over-paintings have distressed religious signs, figurative photographs, and reproductions of works by other artists. Rainer’s long career has been the subject of numerous retrospectives, monographs and traveling exhibitions. . He continues to show in Paris and opened his own museum in the historic Frauenbad building in Baden, Austria, in 2006.

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