ROGER DALE BROWN & RICK REINERT
Coastal views from Charleston, South Carolina, to Maine—from inland images of East Coast cities and tidal marshes to views of the open ocean and boat-filled harbors—will take center stage at a new two-man show featuring the work of Roger Dale Brown and Rick Reinert on November 2 at Reinert Fine Art in Charleston.
The pairing will allow the two artists’ works to play off each other in exciting ways: Brown will be presenting more representational views of fishing and sailing boats, reflective scenes of wetlands and harbor scenes that hint at the deep history of maritime life the permeates through small towns on the coast, while Reinert will be offering looser, more modern views of Charleston, including light-dappled sidewalks, wet city streets and seascapes rendered in with abstracted qualities.
For Brown, who lives and works in Tennessee, his works stretch from Maine to Charleston, and his overall aim is to transport viewers to his locations. “I want to convey the essence of the place, to take you right there with the paint,” he says. “I’ve always been drawn to the water, even if it’s inland—I often paint creeks and rivers. It’s a very strong draw for me. I grew up on the Cumberland River in Nashville so I’ve been around water from an early age. My grandfather and uncle would take me out fishing with them. We were on boats a lot and I really came to appreciate the experience.”
His love of boating and water comes out in pieces like Awaiting a Voyage, which features a yellow-hulled sailboat sandwiched between a blue sky and even bluer water in a dock that is brimming with character. “Nostalgia is the real draw for me as far as the coast goes,” he says. “Some parts of it are like stepping back in time, especially in New England where there is a lot of history in the boats and the docks.”
For Reinert, he’s been experimenting with his paints and has found a lot to play with. “I’m taking everything a little looser and more abstract. I’m even using gold leaf on a lot of things to help create an interesting effect. And gold leaf is quite difficult because it comes on these thin sheets. The best way to work with it is to put it all on and then kind of subtract from it,” Reinert says. “But it’s been fun because I can break everything down into geometric forms, or whatever forms I feel are most powerful. I spend a lot of time combining colors and making sure everything works. When a collector sees a painting, the colors should just swallow them up.”
In works like The Bridge, Fog on Lower King and Morning Color on Fulton it becomes clear that Reinert is having a lot of fun pushing his color and compositions into their most basic forms. And if it comes together quick he doesn’t feel the overwhelming urge to tinker with each brushstroke. “I know now not to overwork a painting. Lots of times an artist will lay down a perfect stroke but since it came to be so easily they feel they need to rework it again and again,” Reinert says. “I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t overwork anything. I just let the piece flow on its own.”