Head of Christ, Arnulf Rainer
Arnulf Rainer
Head of Christ
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Arnulf Rainer

Head of Christ, 1980

392 x 296 mm
Physical Description
Brush in grey and black, watercolour in greyish and reddish brown and blue, wax crayon in black, traces of scratching and incisions, stylus lines on black-and-white photograph
Inventory Number
SG 3395
Object Number
SG 3395 Z
Can be presented in the study room of the Graphische Sammlung (special opening hours)


About the Work

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.

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