‹Painting for Life› Kotscha Reist


(9.-13.4.09 view by appointment only)


Kotscha Reist is showing a series of oil paintings created during the last year.

The title of the show ‹Painting for Life› is ambiguous and refers to the particular circumstances of every artist’s life: on the one hand painting is the essence and mission of his existence, on the other hand it is his job and only by selling his works is he able to earn a living. The lives of many artists are deeply influenced by this ambivalence; work as spiritual, creative expression on the one side, and on the other side work that has to be sold. In the end it is the market that dictates what eventually sells.

The basis of Kotscha Reists paintings are mainly photo originals, he is interpreting them freely and conveying them on the canvas in a varied way. The images are taken from newspapers, magazines, found or shot by the artist. A cosmos of actuality and history is unfolding itself to the viewer, sometimes dimly cautious, sometimes powerfully put on scene. Landscapes and interiors are equally showed besides figurative works.

The motives are of great diversity: but subjects as branch compositions, persons in strange postures, window situations or animals are recurring. Even different versions of the same subject can be found again. By means of enlarging or downsizing the samples are being changed. Details are being faded out or placed right into the centre of the picture. Kotscha Reist is always focusing on the seeming triviality, which is thereby being cut off the connection with reality.

On the one side the pictures stand for a view into a micro cosmos, on the other side they seem to be macrocosmic illustrations of the world. In any case they are snap shots pulled out of timeline, sometimes being totally taken out of context and placed into another world - becoming irritating memory fragments of a collective memory. The open structure gives space to history and above all to stories. Banalities are blurred into the space of time, but do urge themselves into the conscious of the viewer, sometimes even against their will.

Kotscha Reist`s paintings of the recent years were characterized by a thin, multilayered color application, and thereby distinguished by a restrained play of colors; now color is returning to his new works. The distinctive contours, developed in his paper works of the last years now find an accurate space on the canvas. The viewers are immediately facing the scene, making it almost impossible to withdraw one’s sight. In order to get involved one literally has to enter the picture, and becomes a part of its memory and story.


Bernhard Bischoff, March 2009


Translation: Patsy Kornfeld