Reinhard Reitzenstein at the Olga Korper Gallery

Reinhard Reitzenstein’s exhibition FML (Forests May Lie) at the Olga Korper Gallery, built upon decades of experience as a Canadian artist including over 100 solo exhibitions, presents his most recent commentary on the natural environment and its clash with civilization. Reitzenstein incorporates various media including cast bronze, wood installation, ink on paper, and photography to expose the vulnerability and industry of trees as a continuum in his life-long investigation into environmental degradation in ecosystems.

Reinhard Reitzenstein, Panoptic: I Looked At Clouds, 2020, laminated giclee print, edition of 3

Featuring artwork from 2014 to 2020, Forests May Lie focuses on resiliency in nature and the impact of human activities on the environment. There is a deep transcendence in Reitzenstein’s photographs and ink on paper pieces which invite the viewer to reexamine our place in the natural world, specifically how human activity has succeeded in altering and reshaping our fragile symbiotic relationship with trees. Reitzenstein’s work illustrates the mechanisms with which trees not only stabilize and rejuvenate our environment but also our senses and our evolution as a species.  

Reinhard Reitzenstein, Panoptic: This Is Celeste, 2020. Laminated giclee print, edition of 3.

Reitzenstein’s cast bronze and ink on paper artwork characterize trees as living organisms engaging and changing with their environment – the earth, atmosphere and bodies of water – not simply another feature on the landscape. Reitzenstein’s work resonates with the viewer because it represents a desire for manifest continuity and preservation of the environment within which both the natural and man-made world can thrive in perpetuity.

Clockwise from top left: Reinhard Reitzenstein, White Pine (pinus strobus), 2015, Torrey Pine (pinus torriana), 2015. both pigma ink on arches paper and What Should I Call This Piece?, 2019, cast bronze, unique

Reitzenstein’s work integrates the social, political, environmental and cultural elements in order to experience the landscape and allow that experience to affect us on a physical, mental and spiritual level. Shirley Madill, the Chief Curator of the Art Gallery of Hamilton writes that Reitzenstein “works with specific places in mind emphasizing the encounter with the landscape in a bodily manner.”  

Reinhard Reitzenstein, Never Odd Or Even, 2020, cast bronze, unique

Reitzenstein’s work continues to explore ways of collaboration between nature, technology, science and culture and he does this by using various media, working alongside composers and artists alike. Since the early 1970s Reitzenstein has been prolific as a Canadian contemporary artist producing “indoor installation and sculpture using cast, spun and welded metals, wood, glass, photography, digitally processed images, large scale drawings, outdoor tree-based installations and sound art” (Olga Korper Gallery). 

Reinhard Reitzenstein, We All Felt That, 2020, suspended maple, wool felt, steel (top) and detail

Keren Sedmina

Images courtesy of the artist and Olga Korper Gallery.

*Exhibition information: Reinhard Reitzenstein, FML (Forests May Lie), September 12 – October 10, 2020, Olga Korper Gallery, 17 Morrow Ave, Toronto. Gallery hours: Tue – Sat 10 am – 6 pm or by appointment.

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