In conversation with Sophie Reinhold

Sophie Reinhold’s artistic approach investigates the status of the indiviudal in contemporary times, arousing in her audience questions and emotions. Born in Berlin in 1981, where she currently lives and works, Reinhold has gained international recognition throughout the years by featuring in several group exhibitions and solo shows, lastly at Gallery Sophie Tappeiner in Vienna, Austria. Her somber-toned geometric subjects, her intense brushstrokes and daring color combinations make her work immediately recognizable. Besides the emphasis Reinhold puts on the process and gesture of painting, there is always an organic touch that stands out from her canvases and unveils the most intimate dimension of her work. Constantly eager to experiment with new techniques and materials, we sat down with Sophie to know more about her aesthetics and plans for the future.

What inspires you the most as an artist?
Inspiration for me is an intimate and ongoing process. For the moment Hannah Arendt, the German and American philosopher and political theorist, inspires me. Her writing has touched me a lot – not only for her political statements – but also for her way of being so transparent. She did not write for her audience but for herself exclusively. The process of painting for me is very similar. I don’t reflect on the effect of my work to my audience, but I focus on understanding the very moment of painting.

Many of your works convey a sense of thrive to overcome a certain fear. Could you tell us more about this fear you are willing to conquest?
It is a surprising but interesting question, as you have identified something that is actually very hidden in my work. Let us say, that I am not scared of anything, but I do have a great respect for death. The infinity of it makes me aware of beauty and the blessed moment to feel something.

What kind of feeling are you trying to awake in your audience through your works?
I do not aim to affect anyone else than myself when I create my work. It is at the finishing moment of painting that I feel something, and that is my thrill. When I create an exhibition I am aware of how to manipulate the movement of the recipient, but it is not my main motive. I want to create a room – giving the opportunity to have a private moment with your being and my work. Or, perhaps only with your being. People often want to touch my work. I like that, the painting as an unmoved mover.

One of the pieces on show in your last exhibition at the Sophie Tappeiner Gallery in Vienna, features a sort of curtain made of red transparent plastic strips. What does the shape and the red color mean to you?
It is the entrance and exit of the Gallery. It is about being aware of the actual act of entering the exhibition, as an interaction between the body and the room.

In your opinion, what do you think is the greatest fear of today’s society?
Not being happy.

In some of your works from your latest exhibition Exchange of Vacuums at the Sophie Tappeiner Gallery there is the recurrent figure of a rabbit. What does this animal symbolize to you?
In visual art the rabbit was often used as symbol of vitality, sexual desire and fertility. In the show at Sophie Tappeiner the rabbit had the role of the observer but is also scared to be observed. The whole exhibition is very sensual, a confrontation with one’s own desire.

What are your future endeavors?
I currently work on two upcoming shows, one in Munich at Gallery Rüdiger Schöttle and one in Cologne as a participant of the NEW POSITION project at Art Cologne. I would also want to go back to Carrara in Tuscany, Italy and do extensive work in marble quarry.

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  • In conversation with Sophie Reinhold

    Article by
    Beata Duvaker

    Published

    Photography

    Sophie Tappeiner
    Tobias Nähring

    References

    Sophie Tappeiner Gallery

    Tobias Nähring Gallery

    Gallery Rüdiger Schöttle

    Special Thanks

    Sophie Tappeiner Gallery
    Sophie Reinhold