Opening February 13th 2016 at 12.00 in presence of the artist
Tuesday/ Friday 11.00 a.m 19.30 p.m. Saturdays 11/ 2.00 p.m.
Arnulf Rainer started painting through surrealism. Interested in the automatism he started very soon to base his expressivity in the act of hiding existing images. Taking works of art by other artists, or photographs of his own face, he covers them with painting, getting closer to abstraction, and to the total concealment of forms.
Always emphasizing the human act of painting and the body language that painting involves, Rainer praises the first forms of human expression, using the hands to extend the painting, and with destruction and unconsciousness as a creative goal.
In the 70’s he starts to take photographs of himself. Creating a link between the theatrical and the graphic as a media of expression he gets closer to the Viennese Actionism and exploring body language through performance he expands his practice to video.
In the last series of work presented at the gallery within these videos, painting stops being closer to monochrome to show brighter colors in different layers, more transparent. In Beautiful Ladies, the artist goes back to the faces, one of his main themes, with the intention to touch preexistent images and emphasize them.
Sign of the obsession of the artist to be free of his own limitations, his paintings show his search of the maximum expressivity trough colors, textures and gestures. Even the format of some canvases exceeds the conventional limits and adopts the form of the Latin cross.
The interest in other images, covered in a very brutal way by painting, the use of the hands and the cross as a support, and his obsession for death and religion have turned Arnulf Rainer in an internationally wellknown artist, and, sometimes, in a polemical figure.
From the exaltation to the resignation, from the conventional image or the photographic one distorted, to the absence of images, each series of works by Arnulf Rainer is different, but they all share the wish to destroy the conventional communication to recover the richness of the human expression.