Berthold Reiss

Berthold Reiss

was born in Salzburg in 1962. He lives in Munich and was represented at the 2010 Biennale of Sydney with a series of watercolours. The solo exhibition The Klingsohr Märchen in Galerie Ben Kaufmann in Berlin in 2011 brought Novalis’ Romantic fairytale from the Golden Age into the present. The solo exhibition SVPERFLAX in Galerie Christine Mayer in Munich in 2013 addressed the industrial reproduction of Classical Antiquity, as this appears in the collaboration of Flaxman and Wedgewood. For the participation of Galerie Rupert Pfab from Düsseldorf at the Art Cologne 2014, Berthold Reiss employed such various media as a painting, a sculptural architectural model and a wall painting in order to describe the distance from Antiquity both archaeologically and constructively. The lecture Die Aufnahme in Tarabya, Istanbul in 2014 deals with the general function and legitimization of appropriation.

In his pictures, Berthold Reiss places hard contours onto soft backgrounds. This form not only refers back to romantic or classicist positions such as Philipp Otto Runge and John Flaxman; in the works of Berthold Reiss, one also finds the same contrast in architectonic sculptures, as well as in lectures and texts. These emerge in the present, in either a physical or linguistic space.

In general, one can characterize the work of Berthold Reiss as a metaphoric break, or describe it as a “time-space”, within which the original violence of this separation and its daily factuality refer back to each other. Furthermore, the form of the pictures, sculptures and texts as a whole stands for the revolution, which the present has experienced as a result of the Enlightenment and the past as a result of the end of Classical Antiquity.

Each separation opens the space for a third. With regard to the texts of Immanuel Kant, Berthold Reiss thus places special focus on the proposals for a “New Synthesis”. Or he reads Roman history more than anything else as an effort to rescue a world in danger of breaking apart.

The title Üçüncü (The Third) thus stands less for separation than for connection.