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Basic Data

Arnulf Rainer is one of the most important contemporary artists from Austria. The start in the art world was not easy for Arnulf Rainer. The most striking feature of his personality is the steady striving for new forms of expression and innovative artistic strategies. With this, he often offended people and faced resistance especially at the two art academies in Vienna, which is why he left both schools after a couple of days.

  • Born: 8 December 1929 
  • Place of birth: Baden near Vienna, Austria 
  • Nationality: Austrian
  • Studied at: Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Academy of Applied Arts Vienna 
  • Era: Contemporary art 
  • Stylistic direction: Minimalism, conceptual art, abstract art


Arnulf Rainer prices

Artist: Title: Price: Type: Size: Edition: Handsigned: Numbered: Date:
Arnulf Rainer Feuer-Nacht 1800 Euro Original print 22 x 30.7 in limited edition of 35 yes yes 20.11.2019
Arnulf Rainer Das Blau der Nacht price on request Original print 25.6 x 19.7 in limited edition of 35 yes yes 20.11.2019
Arnulf Rainer Grauer Himmel price on request Original print 24.0 x 20.9 in limited edition of 35 yes yes 20.11.2019
Arnulf Rainer Grünzeug price on request Original print 19.7 x 25.6 in limited edition of 35 yes yes 20.11.2019
Arnulf Rainer Lila Maske price on request Original print 19.7 x 23.6 in limited edition of 35 yes yes 20.11.2019
Arnulf Rainer Schwarze Strahlen price on request Original print 24.0 x 20.9 in limited edition of 35 yes yes 20.11.2019



Arnulf Rainer was born on December 8, 1929 in Baden near Vienna. His life is marked by constant rebellion against the prevailing views of art and authority. As early as 1944 he opposed the views of his art teacher, who demanded that he work along naturalistic lines. As a result, he left school.

At the request of his parents, he studied structural engineering at the Federal School of Trades in Villach from 1947 to 1949. In 1947, at the beginning of his studies, he saw the works of international artists such as Francis Bacon and Paul Nash for the first time at an exhibition organized by the British Council, which encouraged him in his view of art. Immediately after graduating, he applied to the Academy of Applied Arts in Vienna, where he was accepted the same year. On his very first day at the academy he got into an argument with the assistant Rudolf Korunka. As a consequence, he broke off his studies there on the same day. After he was accepted at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts a short time later, he left again. There, his works were labeled "degenerate" in a course. After these setbacks, Rainer pursued his artistic career as an autodidact. 

In the course of the 1950s, Rainer made his way into the contemporary art scene. Inspired by a trip to Paris in 1951, during which he came into contact with works by Jackson Pollock, among others, he began to break away from his previously Surrealist style. In 1952 followed his first solo exhibition at the Zimmergalerie Frenck. Today it is considered to be the exhibition that manifested Informel in Europe. From 1953 onwards, Rainer produced his first "overpaintings", in which he initially painted over self-portraits and his own works, and later also the works of other artists. 

During his career Arnulf Rainer participated in various international and national exhibitions. In 1978 and 1980 he represented his native Austria at the Venice Biennale. In 1968 a retrospective was dedicated to him in Vienna. Further major solo exhibitions followed at the Centre Pompidou and the Guggenheim Museum in New York.

In 1995, after students stormed his studio and painted over some of his works, he took leave of absence from his professorship at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, where he had been head of a master class since 1981.

Today Arnulf Rainer is considered one of the founders of Informel and is one of the best-known contemporary Austrian artists. In addition to numerous honors in Austria and Germany, in 2006 he was the first non-Spanish artist to be awarded the Aragón-Goya Prize for his life's work. He lives and works in Enzenkirchen and on Tenerife.



  • 13.05.2023 – 29.10.2023 yours truly, - Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen.
  • 28.01.2023 – 18.03.2023 Who's Afraid of...? / Farbe in der modernen Kunst bis heute - Galerie Schlichtenmaier, SCHLOSS DÄTZINGEN.
  • 07.12.2022 – 26.03.2023 Body and Territory. Art and Borders in Today's Austria - Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb.
  • 15.10.2022 – 22.01.2023 Ways of Freedom Jackson Pollock bis Maria Lassnig - Albertina, Vienna.
  • 28.08.2022 – 26.02.2023 Fahrt ins Blaue - Museum Ratingen.
  • 08.07.2022 – 08.01.2023 Ortswechsel - Museum Giersch, Frankfurt.
  • 01.03.2022 – 29.05.2022 ARTIST - COLLECTOR – PUBLIC - City Art Museum & City Art Gallery Ljubljana.
  • 24.09.2021 - 30.01.2022 Sammlung Miessl – Stadtgalerie Klagenfurt.
  • 19.09.2021 - 14.11.2021 Das Ensemble schreibt das Stück. 70 Jahre heute - Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen.
  • 04.05.2021 - 05.09.2021 Emilio Vedova - Arnulf Rainer: Tizian schaut - Arnulf Rainer Museum, Baden bei Wien, Vienna.
  • 19.11.2020 - 14.02.2021 "überdrüber..." Leopold Strobl & Arnulf Rainer - Art / Brut Center Gugging.
  • 01.10.2020 - 28.08.2021 Fragile Schöpfung - Dom Museum Wien, Vienna.
  • 05.06.2020 - 24.06.2020 Ad The Beginning - Galerie Elisabeth + Klaus Thoman, Vienna.
  • 31.03.2020 - 21.04.2020 20. Benefizauktion zeitgenössischer Kunst - Palais Dorotheum, Vienna.
  • 17.01.2020 - 14.04.2020 KITCHEN - Galerie Elisabeth + Klaus Thoman, Vienna.
  • 19.10.2019 - 23.02.2020 Michael Müller. "DEINE KUNST" The Conditions of Being Art (oder der Amateur) Dritte Fassung - Städtische Galerie Wolfsburg.
  • 09.10.2019 - 02.02.2020 Arnulf Rainer - Mamco - musée d´art moderne et contemporain, Geneva.
  • 27.09.2019 - 19.01.2020 Arnulf Rainer. Eine Hommage - Albertina, Vienna.
  • 20.09.2019 - 05.01.2020 PICASSO – GORKY – WARHOL - Kunsthaus Zürich.
  • 29.06.2019 - 29.09.2019 Face it! - Kunstmuseum Ravensburg.
  • 03.05.2019 - 05.10.2019 3. Mai 1969 - 3. Mai 2019 - Galerie m Bochum.
  • 08.03.2019 - 18.08.2019 Talking Heads - Belvedere, Vienna.
  • 25.10.2018 - 10.01.2019 Aus einer Sammlung: Martha Jungwirth & Arnulf Rainer - Galerie Haas, Zurich.
  • 20.10.2018 - 07.04.2019 Power of Language - From the Collections - Museum der Moderne Salzburg.
  • 31.03.2017 - 30.07.2017 ARNULF RAINER. Neue Arbeiten auf Papier - LENTOS Kunstmuseum, Linz.
  • 07.10. 2016 - 15.01.2017 Dancing with Myself. Selbstporträt und Selbst-erfindung - Museum Folkwang, Essen.
  • 24.10.2015 - 01.05.2016 Arnulf Rainer. Pinselrausch - Arnulf Rainer Museum, Baden.



  • 2019: Grand Decoration of Honour for Services to the Republic of Austria.
  • 2019: Silver Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit for Services to the Federal State of Lower Austria.
  • 2015: Austrian Cross of Honour for Science and Art.
  • 2014: Grand Golden Decoration of Honour for Services to the Province of Lower Austria.
  • 2006: Aragón-Goya Prize, Madrid.
  • 2003: Rhenus-artprize, Mönchengladbach.
  • 1989: Viennese Medal of Honor in Gold.
  • 1989: Prize of the International Center of Photography, New York.
  • 1981: Max-Beckmann-Prize, Frankfurt/Main.
  • 1978: Grand Austrian State Prize for Fine Arts.
  • 1966: Austrian State Prize for Graphic Design.



  • Arnulf Rainer, short film by Peter Kubelka, 7min, Austria 1960.



  • Maria Lassnig - Arnulf Rainer. Das Frühwerk, exhibition catalog, Hemma Schmutz & Brigitte Reutner (Publ.), Cologne 2019.
  • Donald Judd, Arnulf Rainer: edges lines, angles curves, exhibition catalog, Rudi Fuchs (Publ.), Cologne 2018.
  • Arnulf Rainer - Übermaler, exhibition catalog, Cobra Museum voor Moderne Kunst (Publ.), Cologne 2015.
  • Arnulf Rainer: Malerei, Arbeiten auf Papier, exhibition catalog, Burkhard Leismann (Publ.), Ahlen 2015.
  • Markus Lüpertz, Arnulf Rainer - bildende Kunst, exhibition catalog, Arnulf-Rainer-Museum (Publ.), Cologne 2015.