John Tallman

1969 · United States

Artist biography

Lars Reiffers, prize winner of the Lucas Cranach special award in 2001, first studied painting in Aix-en-Provence, the birthplace of Paul Cézanne, before continuing his studies at the Kunst Akademie Münster in Professor Kuhna’s class. In 2002, Herrmann-Josef Kuhna declared Reiffers his master student. Also, his teacher has an intense creative prepossession with colour and its effects: central to his (Kuhna’s) style is the individual dots and patches of colour, which derive their appeal from an amalgamation of haptic presence and virtual appearance. Motivated and inspired by his teacher, Lars Reiffers soon developed his own artistic signature style, which he has continuously been shaping and re-modeling. Despite all the exuberant opulence and decorative that is a prima vista characteristic of his painting, his work is driven by much more than a mere display of surfaces. The brilliance of his colors, the smooth flow of the stroke of his brush as well as the occasionally irritating haptic and tactile qualities of his blossoms and leaves, of water and fish bodies automatically remind the viewer of the art of the 17th century – in particular, of the Dutch still-lives, the so-called nature morte, which should immediately appear in front of the inner eye of the viewer. It is all the more surprising and remarkable at the same time that the artistic personality behind these canvasses was born in 1978! Reiffers is not just a reporter of images, somebody who would subject himself to the subjects of his paintings. Instead, he is an empathic observer, instructing us with his compositions and simultaneously appealing to our innermost. Like a conductor, he guides or sometimes abducts us deeply into the realm of ontology, the study of being. Especially in the face of an accelerated flow and pace of information, a meditative concentration on the elementary and, thus, the existential, proves to be an important anchor and pillar for our orientation. In this context, nature is to be considered as an ideal, in which we can read the whole circle of life.

John Tallman

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