Tejo. Acrylic, oil and coloured crayons on canvas, 105 x 90 cm, 2011
Chicken and image
The works of Matthias Reinmuth evade easy comprehension. His canvases, primed in sky-blue, are covered with the stark, iridescent colors of voluminous layers of oil paints. Realistic elements - a ship, a tree, a bridging element - linger in between as if they made their way in by accident. Between abstraction, gestures, forceful colors and figures, Reinmuth unfurls an entire artistic cosmos before our very eyes, one which challenges our perceptions and curtly sidesteps the alleged opposition dividing figurative and abstract painting. Reinmuth has been artistically deconstructing and destroying the rules of space and time ever since his studies. His works are nearly always undergirded by a spherical empty space, a nirvana often presented in pastel colors. This, however, is a preconceived "tabula rasa," with its coloring setting the basic tone for the work. All expressive gestures atop it and all narrative elements that find their way into the work are built upon this atmospheric foundation. Over the past few years, Reinmuth has been exploring the boundaries of abstraction, reducing the number of narrative elements, which are ever more strongly overlapped by more gestural mountains of color and increasingly intuitive pictorial worlds. Reinmuth's simultaneous work on another development saw its genesis in the sketchbook; from the seminal moment at which a colored pencil with four lead colors fell into his hands, drawings have emerged from it that can no longer be understood merely as preparatory studies for his works on canvas. Within these drawings, figures and gestures, narration and abstraction all encounter each other on one and the same level. While strokes are sparser and line a less sensuous medium than voluminous colors on the brush or blade, the basic set of questions remains the same: What dominates the space? What significance does gravity have for our perception? Where do cognition and sentience meet? And what was there first, the chicken or the picture we have of it? In the present exhibition, we are faced with a case in which painting and drawing come together within one and the same host medium, namely, battleships plowing through the spheres of abstraction. The blue nirvana seems to become a sea, the frigates to metamorphose into spaceships. Meaning and understanding capitulate at the halfway point; and viewers, in navigating their way through the oceanic battlefield, are forced to bridge the gap on their own.
Matthias Reinmuth was born 1974 in Heilbronn. He studied woodcut in Equador and painting at the UdK in Berlin and the Universidad des Bellas Artes Barcelona. After various study visites in India and South America, he graduaded as a masterstudent at the class of Georg Baselitz, UdK Berlin. Since then his work was shown in several exhibitions in Paris, Stockholm, New York, Basel and Brussels as well as Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg and Leipzig.