Daniela Baldelli: Patricia Reinhart’s artistic practice encompasses three different media – video installation, staged photography and painting. How do you interpret the shared elements or limitations within these realms, especially in the concrete aspects of painting and when crafting your films?
Patricia Reinhart: These are three entirely different approaches that are not easily comparable, yet ultimately complement each other. In videos, there are complex connections requiring multiple steps, and it may take up to two years for a piece to be completed. Every step, every element, is crafted by me – from recording and representation to montage (ciné collage) and composition. In contrast, with painting, I can directly convey my content onto the canvas.
DB: Observing your new paintings from the Patience series, I notice they are not built up in multiple layers, unlike your earlier works.
PR: There’s an immediate need to paint directly onto the white canvas with watercolors, without preliminary sketches. In painting, the active moment of doing dominates and has entirely different conditions than working on a video. I can’t go back two steps as in video; if an idea fails, the painting is ruined, a misplaced stroke can disrupt the entire composition.
DB: It feels as if one could sense this daring aspect. Are there specific conditions necessary for you during the execution of the painterly gesture?
PR: In the new Patience series, I exclusively use watercolors, requiring a different approach. I work in multiple phases, usually three different ones. Each gesture is meticulous, almost hypnotically guided, until the moment I know I must stop.
DB: Your paintings clearly convey a sense of movement, as if the brushstroke might change its direction. Do you rotate your paintings while working?
PR: Yes. Since the painterly gesture repeats, I want to provide a different depth by rotating the entire composition. I disrupt the situation, introducing a new level.
DB: How does the meeting of these parts in the image occur?
PR: I rotate to prevent unintentional color blending. Yet, I consciously control the flow of colors when I want different color areas to intersect …
DB: An excellent example of this approach in painting can be seen in the painting Patience III.
PR: Yes, by rotating, the middle part of the image remains untouched by color. As the painting leans against the wall, and if I use a lot of water with the color, dripping is inevitable.
DB: The spot, the encounter, the collision of colors is always visible. You never paint over a layer.
PR: Painting usually happens with a calm and harmonious gesture. The color is allowed to be as it is, creating a dynamic range of tones without a dramatic, expressive application. The images emerge in a tranquility where I take my time and continue a part at the right moment.
DB: There’s always the possibility that one color may not harmonize with another. However, the potential for failure is not concealed by you. It’s crucial for me to sense how you bear this responsibility. It seems this meeting is indirectly influenced by your work on videos, where you masterfully compose scenes. What I love about your paintings is that you make the evidence of the encounter of colors visible.
Daniela Baldelli is an artist and artistic director of Rinomina, Paris/FR. Interview conducted in Paris on 01/10/2016.