Winter Journey, an exhibition of new paintings by renowned Austrian artist Hubert Schmalix, marks the return of art collector and dealer Helmut Reinisch to the historical centre of Graz. More than 200 m2 in a prime location are (once again) converted into a setting for selected art projects.
Günther Holler-Schuster, Universalmuseum Joanneum, said about Winter Journey: The new paintings by ever-travelling Hubert Schmalix are, as in the past, determined by ostensible contradictions. Tight rows of geometrically aligned houses present themselves in bright colours bleached from the sun or lightly covered in snow. With Schmalix, emptiness is never oppressive. The formed spaces are painterly dreams. Reality is kept at bay. The pictorial, on the other hand, is closer, creating a new substantiveness. The vegetative becomes ornamental. Density replaces colourfulness. It may seem obvious, but Schmalix is not concerned with narratives. It is the painterly, the pictorial, that engenders connectedness or familiarity and, at the same time, distance.
Helmut Reinisch has accompanied Schmalix development throughout his rise to one of the greats of contemporary painting. Today, Schmalix, who lives and works in Los Angeles and Vienna, is one of the international figureheads of current Austrian art.
Helmut Reinisch: What fascinates me is that behind Hubert Schmalix seemingly cool themes and surfaces, there often lies an immense sensibility.
More than 25 years ago, Helmut Reinisch began to collect, exhibit and trade contemporary Austrian and international art. Alongside works by promising new talents the collection also includes pieces by artists such as Arnulf Rainer, Hubert Schmalix, Erwin Wurm and Joseph Beuys.
Operating across genre boundaries, Reinisch Contemporary explores ostensibly disparate fields of work and the connections between them. From time to time, fields of resonance between selected pieces ranging from fine arts and sculpture to textiles and photography are brought to light.
Through exhibitions, residencies and cross-disciplinary projects at its locations in central Graz and nearby Kalsdorf Castle, Reinisch Contemporary
creates links between artists, collectors, experts and the wider public.