Arnulf Rainer
Two Flames (Body Language) 1973

Artwork details

Arnulf Rainer born 1929
Two Flames (Body Language)
2 Flammen (Body Language)
Date 1973
Medium Oil paint and photograph on paper
Dimensions Support: 505 x 607 mm
Acquisition Purchased 1982
Not on display

Display caption

Rainer sees himself as both a performer and a painter. For the Body Language series, he was photographed in an ecstatic, almost hypnotic state. He felt that the original photographs did not convey the intensity of his performances, so he reworked them with oil paint and pastels. Rainer's expressive, almost violent markings emphasise the artist's movements, but also obliterate his body and evoke themes of destruction, suffering and sacrifice. The cross is a recurrent motif in Rainer's work, and his pose here is reminiscent of the crucifixion.

August 2004

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