GenevaArnulf Rainer: Territoires latents, Foëx Gift
For some 60 years, Arnulf Rainer (b.1929) has practised “painting in order to quit painting.” With roots in Surrealism, Art Informel, even Art Brut, he has developed an oeuvre based on the “overpainting” of existing works: tragic and comical photographic self-portraits, reproductions of the death masks of great men (such as Goethe), pictures (especially by Goya) and prints (the work of Henri Michaux), but also canvases by well-known names, crosses, and cruciform structures. With a frenetic, gestural vocabulary, the Austrian-born artist works in oils, chalk, or pencil, but also with a drypoint stylus, sweeping it across the copper printing plate, gouging the surface and loading it with marks.
In German, these disparate interventions are conveniently grouped under the common term Übermalungen, highlighting the artist’s fevered, graphic quality, his colorful, mis-handled materials and the forces at play beneath the visible surface, in the layers beneath—the repository of the meanings generated by art and its viewers.
The exhibition is organized by Rainer Michael Mason, following the gift by the Foëx Family.all images © the gallery and the artist(s)