Arnulf Rainer (Baden bei Wien, 1929) and Emilio Vedova (Venice, 1919-2006), despite their generational and educational differences, were linked by a long friendship and shared a similar artistic experience, conceived in responsible contact with the events of the own time. The Venetian appointment continues a dialogue that began in 2020 in Baden bei Wien at the Arnulf Rainer Museum, where the exhibition "Arnulf Rainer & Emilio Vedova: 'Tizian schaut'" offered the opportunity to reinterpret, through the two artists, the relationships that have marked the history between Venice and Vienna.
Decadent Vienna, its prestigious history and slow decline, for example, reminded Vedova of the fall of Venice, about a century earlier. In the Austrian capital, the master had business contacts, friendships, frequentations and cultural sharing that he carefully cultivated, together with his wife Annabianca. The reasons that led the Vedova Foundation to enthusiastically share this project in collaboration with the Arnulf Rainer Museum are multiple and ideally connect Vienna and Venice through the work of two great artists of our time.Their history, which has traced a strong and authentic thought in post-war artistic research, testifies to an attentive and sensitive humanity that expresses, through their works , the fragility of our existence and its beauty as an entity aware of its own imperfection.
Vedova belongs to a generation of artists who have inevitably been defined by the potential for evil and bloodshed in World War II and the risks of passivity in the face of totalitarianism. For Arnulf Rainer, a self-taught painter mainly influenced by Surrealism and American Abstract Expressionism, the focal point of artistic research is the cross, for him the abbreviation of the human face: "Put yourself in front of the mirror, observe your face, you will see that inside a cross is drawn there, everywhere. "