Arnulf Rainer * (born in Baden near Vienna in 1929) Schwarze Übermalung, signed, dated A. Rainer 53-4 as well as signed, dated A Rainer 1953/54 on the reverse, oil on canvas, 92 x 75 cm, to the right upper side there is a cut, on the reverse in the artist's handwriting: direction arrow (to the cut) nicht restaurieren A. Rainer, framed
Exhibited and full-page colour ill. in the catalogue:
Arnulf Rainer. abgrundtiefe, perspektiefe, Retrospektive 1947-1997, Kunsthalle Krems, Verlag Christian Brandstätter, 1997, page 96
Arnulf Rainer gegen.Bilder, Retrospektive zum 70. Geburtstag, Kunstforum Wien, Edition Minerva, 2000, page 91, registered on page 239, no. 27
Exhibited and registered in the catalogue:
Lassnig-Rainer. Das Frühwerk, Lentos Kunstmuseum Linz, Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, 2019, page 197
Lassnig-Rainer. Das Frühwerk, Museum Moderner Kunst Kärnten (MMKK), Klagenfurt, Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, 2019, page 197
Private Collection, Germany
Painting to leave painting
Painting is a visual "form" of spiritual consciousness. It was born from the placing of a dot in relation to an environment. An infinite number of dots (a homogeneous surface) blurs it. On a path of permanent reduction, it strives for those borderline situations. ("Distillation" and "dissolution".) In order to destroy the idols of the millennium, a path of tireless liberation from a tradition of decay, that tradition which is the second oldest.
Using painting as an example, to look critically at the world, to reveal its culture, its painting, through it itself, without mixing with it, to reveal it as a substitute for the lacking and lost metaphysical bond (in whose being there is neither action nor missions nor proofs nor arts), to reveal it as a mere link between the aesthetic and the metaphysical. To be an artist and to despise art. For the pictures, the poems, the thoughts, the speeches, it is the froth, the yeast, the refuse, the ashes, the nonsensical attempt to complete the connection in ecstasy (of experience) instead of in lasting union (a barren method of demand and appropriation). They are the impossible attempt to prove, the sinful way of wanting to seduce by talking instead of silence. They are the concessions to our dirty soil of which we are ashamed. Let everyone know, they are traces, not ourselves. This to excuse ...
From: Arnulf Rainer Schriften, Selbstzeugnisse und ausgewählte Interviews, Hatje Cantz, 2010
But "overpaintings" mean that the manifold has been condensed into one, that the processes and events are still perceptible as life through the subduedness and calmness of a single composition. The rational formula of the spirit is not offered ‘more geometrico’, nor are the structures of being defined thus; an incomprehensible process obscures a comprehensible starting point. Behind the superficial figures of sacred images are the golden backgrounds symbolising the eternal shine in ancient times. Here, the monochrome curtains of the permanent cover the accidental; the drama of the world slowly and inexorably wraps itself in the silence of a mystery that is supreme because it is hidden. ... Rainer creates curtains that gradually form from hundreds of layers of lines and brushstrokes. ...
Otto Mauer 1960/61
(from the catalogue of the Kunsthalle Krems)
My overpaintings emerged from the accumulation of 20000 gestures of crossing-out. These repaintings were, for me, a personal definition concerning the endpoint of easel painting.
Arnulf Rainer (without year)
From: Arnulf Rainer “Aller Anfang ist schwer”, Du Mont, 2009
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