Arnulf Rainer

Galerie M

Almost 40 years after the catastrophe or crime that really christened the century of potential mass destruction, is it possible for an artist to deal with Hiroshima as with any other historical event? No, it is not. Hiroshima has lost none of the horror particular to it; it has become emblematic of death’s contempt for mankind altogether. For Arnulf Rainer, the confrontation with the horrible event in the 57-work cycle here is an exception to his usual pattern of production: “This is the first and possibly the last time that I submit to pressure from another person. I personally avoid the set of problems concerning Hiroshima. . . . I close my eyes and ears to the apocalyptic vision, I bracket out the great catastrophe from my perspective on life” (from the catalogue essay). It is noteworthy that Rainer, who has repeatedly been preoccupied with death, characterizes this particular confrontation

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