Arnulf Rainer  (Austrian, 1929) 

Arnulf Rainer (Austrian, b.1929) is considered one of the most inventive Abstract painters of the 20th century, and is known for frequently masking and overpainting illustrations and photographs in his work. Through pursuing a technique concentrated on the destruction of form, Rainer intends to reinvent the pure status of the image, or—as he has commented—to create a symbiosis of the old and new. Rainer briefly studied at the Academy for Applied Arts and the Academy for Fine Arts in Vienna, first painting in a Magic Realist style, and later creating work influenced by American Abstract Expressionism. In the 1950s, Rainer experimented with his overpaintings, covering up previously created drawings with layers of paint and creating a singular, dominant monochrome work. He also created works involving his own body, and painted while under the influence of drugs, using techniques reminiscent of the Vienna Actionist artists.

Towards the late 1950s, Rainer began overpainting photographs of himself in expressive, distorted self-portraits. His 1970s pieces reflect his meditations on death, evident in his overpainting of deaths masks, mummies, and crucifixion images. Rainer has received international acclaim for his work, honored with the Austrian National Prize for painting, the Rhenus Art Prize, and the Aragón-Goya Prize. The Arnulf Rainer Museum opened in New York in 1993, and a second Arnulf Rainer Museum opened in Baden, Austria, in 2009. Rainer’s work is also shown permanently at the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich, and retrospectives of his work have been held at the Museum of the 20th Century in Vienna, the Kunsthalle Bern, the National Gallery in Berlin, and at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, among other institutions. Rainer has also participated in documenta exhibitions in Kassel on three separate occasions, and has exhibited work at the Venice Biennale twice. Rainer currently lives in Austria, and in Tenerife, Spain.

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Arnulf Rainer, Votivkreuz


Arnulf Rainer

Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac
Arnulf Rainer, Als Kind nannten sie mich Hase (As a child, they used to call me rabbit)


Arnulf Rainer
Als Kind nannten sie mich Hase (As a child, they used to call me rabbit)

Raphaël Lévy Marchand d’art – Art dealer – Kunsthändler
Arnulf Rainer, Fingermalerei - hellblau


Arnulf Rainer
Fingermalerei - hellblau

Galerie Richard Ruberl
Arnulf Rainer, Kreuz, ohne Titel


Arnulf Rainer
Kreuz, ohne Titel

Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac
Arnulf Rainer, Übermalung schwarz weiss


Arnulf Rainer
Übermalung schwarz weiss

Galerie Haas AG Zürich
Arnulf Rainer, Überschmiertes Foto


Arnulf Rainer
Überschmiertes Foto

Galerie Richard Ruberl
Arnulf Rainer, Versteckte Landschaft


Arnulf Rainer
Versteckte Landschaft

Galerie Richard Ruberl
Arnulf Rainer, Fingermalerei - Gelber Himmelszug


Arnulf Rainer
Fingermalerei - Gelber Himmelszug

Galerie Richard Ruberl
Arnulf Rainer, Ohne Titel


Arnulf Rainer
Ohne Titel

Galerie Elisabeth & Klaus Thoman
Past auction results (2648)  View All
Arnulf Rainer, Senza titolo


Arnulf Rainer
Senza titolo


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Arnulf Rainer, Senza titolo


Arnulf Rainer
Senza titolo


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Arnulf Rainer, Senza titolo


Arnulf Rainer
Senza titolo


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1929   Born: in Baden, Austria
1950   Co-founded the Hundsgruppe
1963   Began to collect paintings by the insane
1964   Experimented with hallucinogenic drugs
1953 - 1965   Devoted himself principally to a series of Overpaintings
1966   Awarded the Österreichischer Staatspreis für Graphik
1981   Taught at the Akademie für bildende Künste, Vienna, Austri
1981   Member of the Akademie der Künste, Berlin, Germany
  Lives and works in Vienna, Bavaria and Teneriffa
2013   TEA Tenerife Espacio de las Artes Horizontes sin fronteras, Spain
2010   Puppetry, Galerie Karl Pfefferle, Munich, Germany (solo)
2010   Pinakothek der Moderne Munich, Germany (solo)
2010   Malerei, Galerie Elisabeth & Klaus Thoman Innsbruck, Austria (solo)
2009 - 2010   Female, Museum der Moderne Salzburg, Austria (solo)
2009 - 2010   Werke auf Papier 1970 – 2009, Stadtmuseum Bruneck, Italy (solo)
2009   Paysages perdus, Musée d’art Moderne de Saint-Étienne Métropol, France (solo)
2009   Aller Anfang ist schwer, frühe Arbeiten 1949-1961, Arnulf Rainer Museum im Frauenbad am Josefsplatz Baden, Austria (solo)
2009   Arnulf Rainer, Viktor Hugo Museum Paris, France (solo)
2009   Werke auf Papier 1970 - 2009, Stadtmuseum, Brunneck, Germany (solo)
2008 - 2009   Arnulf Rainer - Dieter Roth. Misch- und Trennkunst. Gemeinschaftsarbeiten aus den Jahren 1973 bis 1980, Orangerie Unteres Belvedere Vienna, Austria (solo)
2008 - 2009   Arnulf Rainer Retrospektive, Museum Moderner Kunst Kärnten, Klagenfurt, Germany (solo)
2008   Kanarien 2006-2007 und frühe Arbeiten, Galerie Kovacek, Vienna, Austria (solo)
2008   Masques mortuaires, Galerie Christophe Gaillard, Paris, France (solo)
2007 - 2008   Arnulf Rainer und Dieter Roth: Misch- und Trennkunst. Gemeinschaftsarbeiten und Einzelwerke, 1968-2005, Haus der Photographie/Deichtorhallen Hamburg, Germany (solo)
2007   Arnulf Rainer und Dieter Roth, Deichtorhallen, Hamburg, Germany (solo)
2006   Visages dérobés, Galerie Lelong, Paris, France (solo)
2006   Arnulf Rainer/Dieter Roth in Sala Canal de Isabell II, Madrid, Spain
2006   Arnulf Rainer, Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Deurle, Belgium (solo)
2005   Körpersprache - Landschaftssprache, Armando Museum, Amersfoort, Netherlands
2005   Arnulf Rainer: collection d'art brut, La Maison Rouge, Paris; Haus am Wannsee, Berlin, Germany
2005   Neue Fotografien, Galerie Karl Pfefferle, Munich, Germany (solo)
2005   Gemeente Museum, Den Haag, The Netherlands (solo)
2005   Kunstverein, Ulm, Germany (solo)
2005   Stiftung St. Matthäus, Berlin, Germany (solo)
2005   Armando Museum, Amersfoort, The Netherlands (solo)
2005   La Maison Rouge, Paris, France (solo)
2005   Galerie Christophe Gaillard, Paris, France (solo)
2004 - 2005   Arnulf Rainer Werke 1948-2003, Galerie Elisabeth & Klaus Thoman in Innsbruck, Austria (solo)
2004   Auslöschung und Inkarnation, Westfälisches Landesmuseum für Kunst und Kultur, Münster, Germany
2004   Arnulf Rainer, PassionenKunsthalle Jesuitenkirche, Aschaffenburg, Germany
2004   Peintures/Surpeintures 1995-2003, Musée national Marc Chagall, Nice, France
2003 - 2004   Arnulf Rainer, Sotto la Croce, Museo Diocesano d’Arte Sacra, Venice, Italy (solo)
2003   Galeria Nieves Fernández, Madrid, Spain (solo)
2003   Himmelschwer im Joanneum, Graz, Austria
2003   Canova-Rainer im Museo Correr, Venice, Italy
2003   Neue Fotoarbeiten, Galerie Karl Pfefferle, Munich, Germany
2002   Galerie Gabriele Wimmer, Vienna, Austria (solo)
2002   Tony Shafrazi Gallery, New York, USA (solo)
2002   20 years Galerie Steinek, Vienna, Austria
2002   Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, Germany (solo)
2002   Crosses – Kreuze, Galerie Lelong, Paris, France and Zürich, Switzerland (solo)
2001   Galleria d'Arte Moderne di Bologna, Italy (solo)
2001   Museum Würth, Künzelsau, Germany (solo)
2001   Arnulf Rainer und Victor Hugo, Sinclair-Haus, Bad Homburg, Germany (solo)
2001   Bibelübermalungen aus der Sammlung Frieder Burda, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich, Germany (solo)
2001   Arnulf Rainer, Kreuze - Von den 60er Jahren bis heute, Galerie Elisabeth & Klaus Thoman, Innsbruck, Austria
2000   Face the face, Galerie Steinek, Vienna, Austria
2000   Übermalungen, Überzeichnungen, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands (solo)
2000   Ich ist etwas anderes, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf, Germany
2000   Bücher. Een overzicht van vijftig jaar kunstenaarschap, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Netherlands (solo)
2000   Gegen.Bilder. Retrospektive zum 70. Geburtstag, Kunstforum der Bank Austria, Vienna, Austria (solo)
1999   Arnulf Rainer, Galerie Steinek, Vienna, Austria (solo)
1995   Simply red, Galerie Steinek, Vienna, Austria
1994   Trademark, Galerie Steinek, Vienna, Austria
1993   Sommercocktail, Galerie Steinek, Vienna, Austria
1993   Zeichnungen 1965-1975, Galerie Steinek, Vienna, Austria (solo)
1991   Hommage aux deux, Galerie Steinek, Vienna, Austria
1986   Abstrakter Sommer, Galerie Steinek, Vienna, Austria
1986   Das Berliner Konzert, Galerie Steinek, Vienna, Austria (solo)
  Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA
Bibliotheque Nationale de France, Paris, France
Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, IN
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angles, CA
Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne, Switzerland
Museo di Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Trento, Italy
New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe, NM
Tate Gallery, London, UK