The work of Berthold Reiß denies logic and confirms beauty. The logic is irrelevant, the beauty is imperative. Realism is taken to an alternative reality; one where Reiß is in complete control. He treats every element with careful consideration so that even the smallest indication of chance appears intended. Yet where the colour pools or the wood splinters, we are confronted with the notion that there is a material truth as well as a historical truth. The work requires a second look, a third, a fourth and perhaps a lifetime of looking. What once was purely the Golden Ratio, the truth of symmetry, the absoluteness of perfection, now encompasses the lines of graphite, the buckling of paper, the drop of glue. One may call these elements a distraction; however, I believe them to be necessary. They belie the artist’s human touch. His knowledge of composition is extraordinary, yet he prefers to combine the notion of a draft and a finished work. The thought is still visible, the wood is raw, the lines are true.
Text by Cassy Smith