Arnulf Rainer increasingly widened the lines of his Centralizations (to the right) to the point where they merged to form solid zones of colour. He initially covered his own works with them and referred to the results as “obscurations” or “overdrawings”. In 1977 he began overdrawing photographs of death masks, later those of faces and, as in this work, depictions of the countenance of Christ. He shrouded the visage of the Crucified One in circular strokes, nearly obliterating it, while at the same time emphasizing the head form and some of the conspicuous features of the face, so that the latter remains recognizable as such. Through obscuration it has been transformed into a new picture.
Since 2001, the Städel Museum has systematically been researching the provenance of all objects that were acquired during the National Socialist period, or that changed owners or could have changed owners during those years. The basis for this research is the “Washington Declaration”, also known as the “Washington Conference Principles”, formulated at the 1998 “Conference on Holocaust-Era Assets” and the subsequent “Joint Declaration”.
The provenance information is based on the sources researched at the time they were published digitally. However, this information can change at any time when new sources are discovered. Provenance research is therefore a continuous process and one that is updated at regular intervals.
Ideally, the provenance information documents an object’s origins from the time it was created until the date when it found its way into the collection. It contains the following details, provided they are known:
The successive ownership records are separated from each other by a semicolon.
Gaps in the record of a provenance are indicated by the placeholder “…”. Unsupported information is listed in square brackets.
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