The work of Arnulf Rainer is at the very least astonishing. Many more words will come to mind as you study his oeuvre, but you might want to do a bit of reading before you come to a final judgment. What amazed me most was his overwhelming, careening drive to make nontraditional art. That zeal took him down some very unusual paths. You'll come to understand the title of this Post as you see and read about his work. But the irony, for me, is that the word overpainting also becomes an adverb for his actions (as in someone going too far).
Before you go to the image links, please read this one paragraph from ArtInfo. It helps set the stage for all that follows.
I don't remember hearing the term overpainting before and it's the perfect description for most of his work. The more you study his oeuvre, the more newer, younger artists come to mind and again we're reminded of how artists ruminate and regurgitate what's been done before. It's almost like the retelling of a joke; it may change in the telling, but the punchline remains the same. Here we have the original in all it's flawed, inglorious rawness.
And with that I'll leave you to your own discoveries and opinions.
Artnet has 63 images and you'll find 31 images at madelcambre.
If you're still interested after seeing those, you might want to see the 37 images at oseculoprodigioso. And I must warn you that the music that starts to play will put you in a mood like no other and add a tremendous amount of psychological depth to what you're viewing.
Here's a concise timeline of his career.
This Biography and a very readable Review by the NY Times, round out the picture.
There's much to think about here and come September 27 of this year they'll be opening the Arnulf Rainer Museum, dedicated to his work, in Baden, Austria.
Top image from PBase.