Kelly Reichert's “fellowship + solitude” exhibition opens Friday at Ohio Art League X Space.
A self-professed introvert, Columbus artist Kelly Reichert is nonetheless a bold, brash painter, opting for in-your-face fields of color augmented by bright, pearly, glittery accents.
That apparent dichotomy exists, to varying degrees, in all of us. And it's that balance — that private self juxtaposed against our public self — that Reichert is exploring in her mixed-media work, which is featured in “fellowship + solitude” at Ohio Art League X Space. A reception will be held Friday, Aug. 10.
“Everything in there is acrylic, with ball point ink, Sharpie ink, cheap glitter from the craft aisle, actual glitter … anything bright, pearly or sparkly. I'm not an elitist when it comes to material,” Reichert said in an interview at X Space. “For me, it's all about how it looks. It's the same approach I used when I was a little kid and the teacher would put down a pile of yarn and some feathers and glue and let you go.”
Reichert brings that same “how it looks” mentality to the works in “fellowship + solitude.” Variations on a theme, many of the works start out “based on chairs I know,” Reichert joked. But once the scene is established, her concern moves to that of color, composition, and form and design. Here, the viewer can place themselves in the setting, no longer specifically a space in or around Reichert's home.
“The viewer is definitely invited in. I want people to kind of feel the space out on their own, to imagine their own story,” Reichert said.
It's that invitation where the balance of personal versus relational happens in these paintings. Reichert re-energized her commitment to making art in the past couple years, uncovering inspiration in her personal space.
“[Painting] interiors was the jumping off point for subject matter, but it quickly moved off into this realm [asking], ‘What is community? What is fellowship? What happens in those moments when we're all interacting with each other, contrasted with when you're alone in your space?'” Reichert said, continuing on to contrast the experience of processing life's difficult moments among intimates with those solitary moments of grief or contemplation. “So, in the end, the work finds us either right before or just after one of these moments, and we get to think about how we process our world … and what we do when we need to regroup.”