Almost no other artist has examined himself in his or her works in such a relentless way as Arnulf Rainer. In his transformations of the self using gestures and facial expressions, his direct look at the body and in the overpainting of his chosen images, he has developed the principle of destruction as a strategy for finding new forms.
Rainer has spent the winter months in Tenerife since 1997. He works with conventional camera equipment in order to investigate the landscape of this volcanic island: its colour, light, air, exotic plant life and geological drama. He uses these photographed motifs as a basis for his overpaintings.
In his most recent expressive landscape paintings, which were created on several of the Canary Islands, Arnulf Rainer has portrayed the volcanic landscape as an expression of the history, evolution, and mentality of the inhabitants of the island and has described these just as painstakingly as he does his own body.