What is instantly striking about Rudolf's paintings is the calmness that emanates from them. With closed eyes and a warm complexion, the face that dominates the majority of his canvases is always the same and yet somehow different every time. Each painting manages to establish its own character, making it slightly different from the rest.
Rudolf draws inspiration from the people around him. He observes light and shadow and the way that their interplay affects particular faces. The resulting images are tender studies of somnambulant or not-yet awoken figures. They are never troubled, always appearing serene and at peace. And it is this feeling that is conveyed to the viewer. It is impossible to look at Rudolf's paintings and not be enveloped by their tranquillity. They capture a moment that few of us are ever conscious enough to experience - that period of utter restfulness and spiritual contentedness that can only come when our minds are released from the stresses and strains of every day living. The total trust and lack of concern that each expression communicates is intoxicating.
The Danae series reveals Rudolf's interest in Greek mythology. The seven paintings feature a single bust. All but one of the faces - hairless, skull-less - is supported by a hand. Coins float around the heads - a dream perhaps? The artist's work is suggestive rather than conclusive; he is trying to induce a sensation in the viewer rather than tell a story. This lack of obvious narrative encourages us to rest and ponder on the stillness of the figures. Their simplified, uncomplicated forms and smooth skin appeal to us from the canvas, inviting us to pause and contemplate.
As Rudolf himself has observed, art 'has to pass an exam of time'. Rudolf's art will pass that test because instead of reflecting any specific circumstances, it holds a mirror up to human nature itself.
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