Key paintings by Arnulf Rainer (*1929) from his early period will be presented. The Austrian artist is internationally renowned for his overpainted works that were created from the 1950s onwards. For these he uses his own, as wells as found photos and images as surfaces for painting on. We will show, in addition to other works, paintings with monochrome canvases painted black in which small sections at the edges are omitted from the overpainting. Thus, although a tiny part of the original image remains visible, it is no longer possible to discern that which the painter has allowed to disappear under layers of paint. In this way, there ensues a dynamic contrast between old and new / visible and invisible – a principle that makes Rainer’s paintings so fascinating. Contrary to initial expectations, his paintings are not always created spontaneously within a few minutes, but are at times the result of years of work. It is a struggle for the creation of a new painting and is about more than just obscuring what already existed. Rather, that which was previously on the canvas serves as a model for that which develops. This is also applicable to his overpainted works on paper, which provide a further insight into his work and are exhibited in the Galerie Michael Haas.