Marc Selwyn Fine Art is pleased to present new work by Kevin Reinhardt in cooperation with Grice Bench.
Kevin Reinhardt’s meticulously rendered windows could easily be mistaken for minimalist abstractions in the spirit of Barnett Newman. Closer inspection reveals each canvas to be an exacting rendering of slatted blinds. In each composition, solid boxes of color are obscured by the vertical or horizontal louvers. Single strands of colored thread sewn into the canvas highlight the edges and planes, complicating the surface and reinforcing the illusion of three-dimensionality. Irregularities in the blinds – slats are misaligned, the blinds are only half open, edges are broken – occur in every canvas. These views offer a window with limited narrative content (think Sigmund Freud’s windows to the unconscious); the mystery of what might be glimpsed if the blinds are raised remains unknown.
Trained as an architect, Reinhardt frequently identifies specific locations as catalysts for his compositions. In this series, his “window paintings” are based on the scaled elevational drawings of Swedish architect Sigurd Lewerentz’s St. Petri Church in Klippan, Sweden. Lewerentz’s design for this building – austere in means but luxurious in thought –has inspired generations to consider context, materials and the methodology of construction as integral to the poetry of architectural form.
In his nuanced color sequencings, Reinhardt’s “window paintings” speak most eloquently to a sense of alienation familiarized in works by American painter Edward Hopper. Or perhaps their impact is derived simply from the banality of familiar surroundings. Where is the light source in this scene? What is the view desired by the viewer? Why does this interior insist on masking the exterior?
Encircled by these works on canvas, a sculpture of polychrome carved wood exists in counterpoint to the more abstract mystery of the surrounding walls. The bust depicts Sada Abe, a pleasure obsessed geisha. Abe appears defiant, Gyuto blade clenched between her teeth, her gaze falling across the space, obscured by the emptiness before her. As pointed out by Ruth McCormick in a review of the 1976 film In the Realm of the Senses, Sada’s story is one of escape from the conflict found within Eros and Civilization by Herbert Marcuse -- a woman choosing self, left to wander in the pursuit of Eros (love).
In an adjacent space, a radiant C-print features an empty hotplate generating heat for no visible purpose. A paper cutout drawing, created by stacking alternating colored sheets of paper, each with interior portions removed, depicts a lone red-tipped cigarette touched by the flame of a stove and left to ash.
Kevin Reinhardt was born in 1990 and earned a B.Arch. with a minor in sculpture from USC in 2014. Reinhardt is based in Los Angeles. His work has been featured locally in exhibitions with Grice Bench, Harbor View and Pole, otherplaces. la, and most recently in New York City with Half Gallery.
This exhibition marks the artist’s first presentation with the gallery.