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Arnulf Rainer (Austrian, 1929- )

Arnulf Rainer's work involves an intense confrontation with the psyche, a trait that characterizes Austrian Expressionism. He paints and draws over his self-portraits, exploring the characteristics of human expression and often assuming the political role of the trickster. During WWII, Rainer's masochistic images of cuts and lacerations were vehicles for exploring the Nazi carnage. He experimented with automatic painting during the 1950s, obscuring his pictures with dark colors and without conscious direction. "Art Brut," the paintings of the mentally ill, provided insights into his work, as the search for self became his artistic motivation. His work synthesizes reality-based photographs with the uninhibited energy of painting.
- Patricia Schaefer

Selected Bibliography
Brown, Gordon. "Arnulf Rainer, Dieter Roth," New York: Arts Magazine (September 1975).

Coke, Van Deren, and Du Pont, Diana C. Photography, a Facet of Modernism. New York: Hudson Hills Press, 1986.

Kuspit, Donald. "Arnulf Rainer: Self-Exposures." Art In America (April 1987): 171-179.


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