RossoCinabro | Biography | Elke Reis
Contemporary Art in Rome

Elke Reis

Artist Statement

In my work I explore various nuances of the color black. Using the color black enables me to create an infinite space beyond the limits of the canvas. It opens up a space to contemplate, to go inside and feel the deep of the black pictorial space. Black is not black. Due to the altering light, the varying components and hues of my black color mixture and the specific way of applying glazes there are always different perceptions of black. I am working with thin oil paint applied in blurring interfere layers of colour and glazing technique. Sometimes I let the traces of the liquid paint run randomly over the canvas monitoring closely what happens on the surface. I experience the creating process as an exciting interaction of idea and material, conception and coincidence, consciously set elements and the sometimes unanticipated effects of the material per se. When I start working there is always a subject matter but it often changes during the working process and it is always very simplified and abstract. I’d like to leave behind all distractive, narrative or descriptive contents. For me art is not about representation neither about formal perspectives. It is even in the most abstract works about human consciousness, emotion and sensuality.



Elke Reis is a German artist currently living in Munich. She was always connected to art – as a child she was stunned by the drawings of her father. He was a talented graphic artist but decided not to go into art – growing up in a poor family under miserable circumstances during the last years of World War II he couldn’t even consider being an artist. But his love and his talent to draw influenced the artist’s live more than she’d thought. The artist was longtime busy with her family and her job. She loves educating and teaching kids. But her deep passion for art never diminished. The opportunity to take a sabbatical leave and the adventure of trying out a life in California was a welcome break to deepen this love.

“I felt like walking a new path – doing a few steps not knowing where it will lead me. I’ve discovered my old love and I nourish it now with all my heart. I realized what I’ve missed for so long – focusing on figure, shape and color, approaching and sculpting the essence of the human being with paint.”

Meandering from figurative expressionism to pure formalism, her recent work became more and more abstract and reduced. In her actual paintings she explores various nuances of the color black and the interplay with the light on the canvas. Sometimes there is still an idea of a landscape or a figure in her paintings but only vagely suggested. With the nearly monochrome black canvas she tries to create an infinite space and to go beyond the limits of the canvas.

Elke Reis moved back to Munich, Germany, several years ago. Her artwork has been shown locally and internationally and is represented in several private collections throughout Europe and USA.



Art classes at High school Sinsheim and University of Education Karlsruhe (Werner Pokorny, Hans Manch, Prof.Dr. Paul M. Kästner) // Palo Alto Art Center, CA (Michael Azgour, Robert Regis Dvorak) // Pacific Art League, Palo Alto, CA (Raymond Mendieta, Kay Culpepper, Stella Zhang, Jeff Powell, Sue Toorans, Danielle Fafchamps) // The Alameda Artworks San Jose, CA // Atelierprojekt Munich (Cornelia Eichacker, Uli Zwerenz)// fabrik am see (Jupp Linssen) // AdBK Kolbenmotor (Prof. Jerry Zeniuk) // Member of ... Pacific Art League Palo Alto, WORKS Gallery San Jose, SBAWCA (South Bay Area Women's Caucus of Art - MAL), Kunstverein Erding, BDK (Fachverband für Kunstpädagogik), Künstlerprojekt LOT62 Munich


Exhibitions (Selection)


Consciousness – Anima Mundi Art Festival, Venice, Italy Kunst im karree, Schwabing @ lot62, Munich

"Go inside" Orangerie (Orangery), English Garden, Munich Koelner Liste, fair for contemporary art, Cologne

“Munich artists say hello 2017” group installation, Munich


"Prospettive 2016" Trieste, Italy

HAEPPY ART 2016, artfair Munich

"Zeige deine Nase" - part of the exhibition "Hayward & Tamayo"@Kunstverein Münich

"Der verwundete Garten" - Kunst-im-Kontext, Weilheim

Kunst im karree, Schwabing @ lot62, Munich

ArtMuc 2016 (Director's Choice), Munich

"500 artists say Hello" - installation by Munich Artists, Munich


"Square -works on paper" @ lot62, Munich

Kunstmesse.25. current positions of selected international women artists, Frauenmuseum Bonn

"Kunst im Aufbruch" Kunstprojekt Barlowstr.8, Munich

Premio Gambino Venice Art Prize 2015, Madonna Dell'Orto, Venice/Italy

"Zwischen Himmel und Erde" - paintings and sculptures @ lot62, Munich

"Heimat: ein Ort-ein Gefühl-ein Bedürfnis?" Kunstrefugium Münich


Installation "Kunst im Abriss" @HDI-Gebäeude Munich Englschalking

"Bilder, Briefe, Noten LXXXIII" Autoren-Galerie 1, Munich

"Licht und Schatten" - Kunstverein Erding Kunst im karrée Schwabing @ lot62, Munich

"Drei Küenstler unter einem Dach" @ Kunstforum Arabellapark,

"Non-abstrAKTE" solo show @ lot62, Munich


"Small works" show @ lot62, Munich

solo exhibition @ lot62, Munich

“100 works“ Kunstverein Erding

Ctalogue project Kunstverein Erding “100 artists - 100 works”


solo exhibition @ Projekt Mischa, Munich

Bogenhausener Kulturtage, Munich

"figurative works" @ Atelierprojekt, Munich


solo exhibition, Naglee Park Open Studios, San Jose, CA

SVOS 25th Anniversary Preview Exhibit Pacific Art League, Palo Alto, CA

Benefit Auction exhibit at WORKS Gallery, San Jose, CA

"Choices” 22nd SBAWCA Member’s Show, San Jose

“Better luck next time” WORKS Gallery, San Jose, CA


“Ring in the New” WORKS Gallery, San Jose, CA

“Small works” show Pacific Art League, Palo Alto, CA


Elke Reis - Fragile 1


Fragile #1

acrylic on canvas

80 x 60 cm


Available works




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