Beck and Eggeling is pleased to announce mappa mundi, Chris Reinecke's third solo show with the gallery.
To relate oneself to the world–this is of serious concern to Chris Reinecke, and she addresses her demand to herself as well as the viewer. Ever since the late 1960s, with works like Klima-Tisch (Climate Table) or the Umgebungskleider (surrounding clothes) she has been encouraging the public to participate directly in her work and to experience their environment, and she has been observing and describing our world. But not only the physically experienceable world. Chris Reinecke's almost research-like observation also includes the social and political space, as well as the spiritual and intellectual space. Even though she has long since stopped using a participatory approach to her artistic work, these works are still challenging and moving.
Since the late 1990s, large-scale, multi-part, often multi-layered works on paper have been defining the artist's oeuvre, and since then she has repeatedly associated the term mappa mundi with these works. The mappae mundi were Medieval world maps. The peculiarity of these maps lies less in the accuracy of the geographical description of the world than in the fact that they combine the author's biblical, ancient, historical and scientific knowledge. They give a picture of the world that is less of a precise mapping than of an interpretation of it.
Like the cartographers of the Middle Ages, Chris Reinecke operates more as an interpreter in her mappae mundi. Her sources are just as diverse: art and literature, history–including humanities and cultural history, as well as natural sciences. Time and again she revises and questions her own work. Time and physical space become elastic concepts she integrates into her work, often overlapping within the thematic framework of the piece. Her works remain open, for her and her artistic process, as well as for the viewer. Chris Reinecke gives no answers. She does not claim anything either. She shows the world in its blurs and contradictions. We're urged to bring ourselves into relation with this world to perceive her work.
Chris Reinecke was always a highly political artist and still is. Many works in the exhibition prove this. And yet: in the most recent works from this year she seems to devote herself to a certain inwardness. She occupies herself with theoretical mathematics, grammar and doing so thinks about very painterly problems like surface and form. All this in a luminous watercolour painting, very concentrated, yet with a freshness and lightness that makes you realize how comfortable Chris Reinecke feels in this almost transcendental painting. A small watercolour, created during a trip through Brittany in 1960, shows that she has come to her own completely.
Chris Reinecke (born 1936) lives and works in Düsseldorf. In recent years her work has been shown in numerous group exhibitions at institutions such as Ludwig Forum Aachen (2018), LENTOS Kunstmuseum Linz (2018), Hamburger Kunstverein and Kunstverein Harburger Bahnhof in Hamburg (both 2019). Currently, Villa Schöningen in Potsdam is showing works from the 1960s in a group exhibition. In Marseilles, Espace Mourlot is showing the first solo exhibition of Chris Reinecke in France.
Press release courtesy Beck & Eggeling International Fine Art.