Baden n. Vienna 1929 - lives in Vienna
Arnulf Rainer is a leading contemporary Austrian artist. Since the early 1950s, Rainer has been overpainting works on canvas made by himself and others as well as photographs. His overpainted photographic self-portraits became particularly well known. Here, he explored facial expressions, bodily movements, and the quest for one's own self. This analytical approach was also reflected in Rainer's series 'Face Farces' and 'Body Poses'. From the early 1970s on, Rainer added foot and finger painting to his repertoire of techniques. He then developed the series 'Art About Art', in which he overpainted photographs in the style of Gustave Doré, Anton Maria Zanetti, Leonardo da Vinci and Franz Xaver Messerschmidt. His mature works show Rainer's focus on photography, first to rework them, but later the overpainting technique faded into the background and the photographs were regarded as autonomous works.