Arnulf Rainer

1929 Baden bei Wien

Arnulf Rainer was born in Baden near Vienna in 1929. He studied at the University of Applied Arts and the Academy of Fine Arts, both of which he left after only a few days. Together with Wolfgang Hollegha, Josef Mikl, Arik Brauer, Ernst Fuchs and Anton Lehmden, Rainer founded the "Hundsgruppe" in 1950. After his first exhibitions at Galerie Würthle and a solo exhibition at Galerie St. Stephan, he was a founding member of the “Gruppe St. Stephan” in 1956 together with Wolfgang Hollegha, Josef Mikl and Markus Prachensky. Just one year later, Rainer joined the Vienna Secession. Numerous exhibitions followed, both in Austria and abroad. In 1966, he received the Austrian State Prize for Graphic Arts. As a representative of Austria, Arnulf Rainer took part in the 1971 Biennale in São Paulo. From the mid-1970s he increasingly reworked photographs of other artists' works and turned to gestural foot and finger painting. In 1978, Rainer was a member of the Austrian pavilion at the Venice Biennale and he took part in the documenta in Kassel in 1977 and 1982. This was followed by a professorship at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna from 1981 to 1995 and being awarded the Max Beckmann Prize by the City of Frankfurt. After countless exhibitions in internationally renowned museums, the Arnulf Rainer Museum was founded in New York in 1993 and remained open until 1996. In 2004, Rainer was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Catholic Theological Faculty of the University of Münster. The Arnulf Rainer Museum in Baden has been open since 2009. Numerous awards underline the importance of the artist, who today lives and works in Vienna, Upper Austria and Tenerife.


Otto Breicha (Hrsg.), Arnulf Rainer. Hirndrang. Selbstkommentare und andere Texte, Salzburg 1980; Ausstellungskatalog Arnulf Rainer, Galerie Ulysses, Wien 1987; Friedhelm Mennekes (Hrsg.), Arnulf Rainer. Weinkreuz. Eine Kunst-Monographie, Frankfurt a.M. 1993; Ausstellungskatalog Arnulf Rainer - 100 Bilder aus der Sammlung Essl, Sammlung Essl, Klosterneuburg 1994