Veils of color materializing in subtle mists, geometric grid patterns delicately inscribing themselves into the image, and figurative visual elements scattered across the canvas in a state of weightless suspension: Sophie Reinhold’s paintings combine contrasting ways of composition whose arrangement produces a harmonious whole and a contemplative atmosphere.
In her paintings the Berlin-based artist explores how the concepts of veiling, camouflage, and emptiness clash with those of presence, impact, and strong expression. Manifestations of these two effects determine each other. Without hiding or overlapping, without withdrawing from expression, its essence cannot be profoundly recognized and comprehended. It is a necessary concurrent counterweight that emerges in the process of Reinhold’s composition over a prolonged period, one that can ultimately be read in its condensed form. The care that went into accentuating the forces that are at odds with each other and into the harmonizing components is clearly visible in her oil and marble-dust paintings. Images are created layer by layer, many spots then sanded down again, achieving a depth and sublimity that directly affect viewers, causing them to pause and reflect.
Not only the paintings themselves play with contrasting display and dominance to the reserve and incompleteness on the canvas: These forces are also active within humans and can therefore be understood on both a mental and a physical level. The will of the ego and its strife for expanding its position with the simultaneous desire to hide, to conceal, and to isolate are common phenomena. Reinhold shows us this game, this grappling, in a wholly idiosyncratic way. And her images bear witness to a deep love of vulnerable creatures – people that at once fight and flee, scream and fall silent, reveal themselves and hide, love and hate. With reduced means and without putting their full physicality on display, she gives them an ominous platform, full of wit and charm. And sometimes, all that is left of these creatures is an aura, an echo of their energy.
Sophie Reinhold (born in Berlin in 1981) studied under Antje Majewski at Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weißensee, prior to that under Amelie von Wulffen at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and at the Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig. As the recipient of the 2012 Villa Romana Prize, she completed an artist residency in Florence. In 2017, she was a visiting professor at the Muthesius University of Fine Arts and Design. This year, Galerie Rüdiger Schöttle will present her work as part of the New Positions at the Art Cologne. (S. Kunz)
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