Leimfarbe auf Holz/ distemper on wood, 122 x 81 cm.
Foto/Courtesy Galerie Elisabeth & Klaus Thoman
1998 - 1999
In our new exhibition we present paintings from the late nineties not shown in public before - Schleierbilder (veiled pictures) and Blattmalereien (leaf paintings) are confronted with Microcosm/Macrocosm as well as new Hand and Finger Paintings. While the first are painted directly onto the open-pored wooden panel in thin, scumbled layers of paint, thus merging with the latter to form transcendently luminous bodies of colour, the latter, through liquid paint on a porous and napped, perforated and scratched painting surface, build up into a softly gleaming, velour-like texture or bear gentle caresses of colour, applied by the artist's hand on a white base, or else pastose and dark-in-dark, wildly expressive mounds of paint. 'Rainer's painting, since the nineteen-fifties, has unfolded in a dialectic tension between the poles of a gentle, meditative application of paint and a physically powerful expressiveness. His method of the slow painting-over, that often leads to almost monochrome paintings, forms a contrast to the gestural and body-related work series, produced at great speed, such as the Finger Paintings or the Face Farces.'
(Alte Pinakothek, Munich, from a text on the exhibition Arnulf Rainer Der ▄bermaler, 10 June to 5 Sept 2010)
With his latest works on paper, decisively dark gestures on bright grounds, Rainer carries on themes he already dealt with in the fifties and sixties.
Arnulf Rainer, one of the greatest artists of our time, was born in Baden near Vienna in 1929. From 1981 to 95 he taught a master class in painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. In 1978 he received the Grand Austrian State Prize, in 1981 the Max Beckmann Prize of the City of Frankfurt, in 1989 the Infinity Award of the International Center of Photography in New York, in 2003 - as the third artist after Baselitz and Polke - the Rhenus Art Prize. In 2006 he was the first non-Spanish artist to be handed the Aragˇn-Goya Prize for his life's work and his artistic kinship to Francisco de Goya.
His works were and still are exhibited at the major museums and art events around the world, e.g. the Venice Biennial (1979), documenta 7 (1980), the Centre Georges Pompidou Paris (1984), the Guggenheim Museum New York (1989). In 2002 the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich dedicated a room to Rainer, showing his works permanently. 2009 saw the opening of the Arnulf Rainer Museum in Baden. Arnulf Rainer lives in Vienna, Upper Austria, Bavaria and Tenerife.