Arnulf Rainer. Visages
With a selection of artworks spanning from 1970 to 2002, Visages reviews the importance of faces in the work of Arnulf Rainer through three different series: his self-portraits or Face farces, the Death Masks or Totenmaskes and finally the veiled pictures or Schleierbildern, in which the artist uses as a departure point preexisting images from the history of art.
With the prominence of the Face Farces, which depict a person who can only express himself through the movements of his body, in an attempt of the artist to dissolve himself, as a metaphoric gesture of the oblivion, completely deliberated, of what art is, this exhibition gathers a series of works that insist the whole of art can find its origins in an artist. Either a naked man without any tools for the act of painting, overflowed by painting, either his gaze covering preexisting images.
The overpaintings of the Schleierbilder are the physical trace of this gaze, without the intention of adding any further meaning to the previous image, but rather remove excess meaning anchored to the image through habits and historicization of art.
Just as Cézanne, undaunted, observed his apples and his mountains, and day by day helped them to life in his painting, so too does Rainer tirelessly recounts what he observes, day by day, in art, paintings and life. Jean-Michel Foray