Rainer und die Frauen

Cat. Galerie Elisabeth & Klaus Thoman

Exhibition catalogue, edited by Klaus Thoman
texts (German/English) by Peter Weiermair, Andrea Madesta
128 p with 96 coloured illustrations
280 x 240 mm, hardcover

ISBN 978-3-86442-068-9

39,80 €

Rainer and the Women

When the Albertina in Vienna dedicates a retrospective to Arnulf Rainer to mark his 85th birthday in a year’s time, it will no doubt be a brilliant review of a multi-faceted body of work. Galerie Elisabeth & Klaus Thoman in Innsbruck has already organized an exhibition, however, and is publishing a catalogue to accompany it with an anthology of Rainer’s work, which has so rarely been assembled and available to view thus far. It features overpainting of photographs dating from the 1960s to today with erotic, sometimes even pornographic subjects. In these works Arnulf Rainer appears to react very emotionally to the women’s bodies; he blots out, enhances, caricatures, accentuates and sometimes damages the surfaces on which he downright engraves his contributions. Sometimes it appears as if he wants to work his way through to the female partners on the other side of the photographic divide. »The process of this confrontation – and this is demonstrated very well by this anthology – takes very different forms of approach. It varies between elegant lineament, a tactile drawing encompassing and surrounding the body, and overpainting, whereby the flowing and spraying of the paint has clear associations with sexual acts, and sometimes the photographic work is entirely drowned in paint,« writes Peter Weiermair in his introductory text. In contrast, Andrea Madesta, the second author of the book, sometimes takes a critical view of the image of the woman as it emerges to us from the work and from the historically conditioned radical confrontation with values and conventions in the work of Arnulf Rainer.