Arnulf Rainer - Untitled
Oil on card. 102 x 73 cm. Framed under glass. Monogrammed 'A R'.
In his “finger paintings”, Arnulf Rainer uses his own body as an instrument of painting: “In 1979 I was able to find large spaces in the country (in Upper Austria and Bavaria) which enabled me to spread out and start a large series of foot and finger smears. After I had laid out lots of cards on the floor and crawled from one to the other in order to leave the colour material as a smear, a mark, a trace, I came to a very physical way of painting that depicted something like the climax of a design principle that was accompanied by struggle, cramp and great bodily exertion, thus based on a psychophysical expressive gesture. Through the practice of stooping, bending and twisting a thousand times, I strained my spine and arm joints to the extreme. My hands were always dirty, sore and wounded, my knees grazed. Recently I can only manage bending, turning and falling with pain. Undoubtedly this bodily wear and tear will soon make such a way of painting impossible.” (Arnulf Rainer, Gejammer, 1982, reprinted in: Arnulf Rainer, exhib.cat. Historisches Museum der Stadt Wien, Vienna 1989, p.55)
We would like to thank Atelier Arnulf Rainer, Vienna, for helpful information.
Galerie Heike Curtze, Dusseldorf; private collection, North Germany
Dusseldorf 1984 (Galerie Heike Curtze), Arnulf Rainer, Kreuze 1980-1984, exhib.cat., p.8 with colour illus.