Arnulf Rainer Untitled (1969-74)

  • Not on view

In his Face Farces series, Rainer used oilstick scribbles and smudges to either exaggerate or eliminate the features portrayed in the underlying self-portrait photographs. He initially frequented a train station photo booth late at night to obtain his source images, but eventually found that professional photographers could better capture the precise moments of facial tension he wished to highlight. Rainer has said, "Drawing over photos of myself . . . gave me the feeling of realizing a reproduction of myself and a symbolic transformation and extinction of myself at the same time." At once celebrating and desecrating the body, Rainer's mixed-media technique has allowed him to "discover the subhuman in myself."

Gallery label from Exquisite Corpses: Drawing and Disfiguration, March 14–July 9, 2012.
Oilstick on gelatin silver print
23 x 19" (58.4 x 48.3 cm)
Gift of Joachim Aberbach (by exchange)
Object number
© 2023 Arnulf Rainer
Drawings and Prints

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