I traveled to St. Hippolyte-du-Fort, France, on a beautiful July day in 2013 to visit Marcus Reichert. His wife, Sally, picked me up from the Nîmes station, and we drove an hour through the scenic southern countryside. When we arrived at their 18th century home in the small, stone town, I found the artist in a morose state of mind. He had recently lost two close friends and received some bad news about his own health. In the depth of despair, he was almost lost to the world.
My mission during those few days was to select paintings for our first exhibition together, which would open that fall in Boston. At first, Marcus encouraged me to get started without him. I spent hours disassembling and reassembling stacks of paintings in his studio. The room had high ceilings with large windows that blanketed the tile floor with light. The air was stained with the smell of turpentine. Only quiet, foreign chatter on the street broke long moments of silence. The canvases that stretched out around the room made the large space seem insignificant. I had over a decade of paintings to survey and only three days to see them. The task seemed overwhelming, and without his opinion, I also began to feel lost.
The next day, Marcus emerged from his room with renewed energy, as if my activity had shaken some of the weight off of his conscience. He smiled and started moving paintings around. Then, he pulled out a portfolio of works on paper that he had been working on. As we leafed through them, I felt my shoulder blades soften and tears swell under my eyelids. In the midst of his despair, he painted flowers – as if his subconscious were reminding his eyes about the beauty that exists in the world.
The series, Les Fleurs, bares a certain timelessness that takes me back to the South of France. There is a freshness about them that reminds me of driving through the countryside. The colorful depictions are not as much physical reminders of the landscape as they are emblems of the freedom I felt walking through that magical town in the mountains. The works are distinct from one another, and each carries an authentic sentiment of hope with a balance of color and configuration that words cannot describe.
Adelson Galleries Boston is pleased to exhibit a selection of these works on paper. Several of them appear in the publication, Les Fleurs: The Studies, which is available at the gallery upon request. The gallery will also have available Marcus Reichert’s recently published, Tableaux: Paintings 2002-2012, with an introduction by the distinguished American critic, Donald Kuspit.
We hope you enjoy the show!
Adelson Galleries Boston