r einhold Schwenk was born in Göttingen, Germany, at the end of World War II. His visual arts journey began at the age of sixteen in apprenticeship to a poster design and window dressing studio in Karlsrühe. His job included painting enormous billboards for movies like Gone With The Wind, All Quiet on the Western Front. Later Reinhold attended the Werk-Kunst-Schule, Wuppertal, a Bauhaus-inspired art school where he learned all aspects of graphic design. His artistic talents were praised by friends, family, and teachers so Reinhold made a big decision: in 1966 he left his home, moved to New York City, and enrolled in the School of Visual Arts. One of his professors recognized Reinhold’s potential and got him a job in the art studio of Doyle Dane & Bernbach, the most influential ad agency of the era. In a short time, he rose from Art Director to Creative Director, producing award-winning ads in print and television for international giants like Volkswagon, Audi, American Airlines, and for cultural icons like The New York Shakespeare Festival.
After thirty years of focusing on client goals instead of his own, Reinhold quit advertising, moved to a farmhouse in bucolic Bucks County, and took up painting at the atelier of Frank Arcuri, a master still life artist. There Reinhold learned how to use oil paint to create light, shadow, form on canvas. Like Magritte, Warhol, Picabia–artists who started in advertising and moved into painting - Reinhold’s background in graphic design immediately informed his painting style: simplicity, composition, and a bold focus. His first show of still life paintings at the JS&B Gallery in NYC was a sell-out. He went on to paint landscapes, flowers, animals, abstracts—whatever intrigued him. Inspired by his artistic hero, Gerhard Richter (who was from the same town in Germany,) Reinhold does not want to be confined by one style of art. He is always pushing the envelope of his comfort level and looks for new concepts and inspiration.
These are the striking elements of his œuvre. He prefers to create a body of work, rather than single paintings. Multiple images allow him to synthesize and tell a more layered story. One such series is ‘Painting Cancer,’ seven large landscapes depicting his personal experience overcoming cancer. These paintings are on permanent display at The Mount Sinai Hospital, Hess Center for Science and Medicine, NYC.
In 2018 Reinhold designed and oversaw the construction of his own art studio. This inspiring new space allows him to spread out and work big. His latest series, ‘East Beach,’ is the first body of work created in the new studio and marks the realization of images he has been collecting for several years in St. Simons, GA. The vast flat beaches of the Georgia coast are vastly transformed twice a day with the tidal ebb and flow. On East Beach there are infinite horizons, dramatic skies, and exquisite light. Each of Reinhold’s paintings in this new exhibition capture the dynamic intersection of land and water and sky.
Thank you for viewing my website and you are welcome to visit my studio the next time you are in Bucks County.
JS&B Gallery, Manhattan…Anderson Fine Arts, St. Simons GA…Grenning Gallery, Sag Harbor, NY…Stover Mill, Bucks County PA…The Philadelphia Sketch Club, Philadelphia, PA...State Museum of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg…Phillips Mill, Bucks County, PA… 2011-2017 Artists of the Gallows Run, Kintnersville, PA, an art benefit for land conservation in Bucks County.
2010 Hughes Award at Phillips Mill…2010 Best Oil Painting Tinicum Art Fair…2011 Art of the State, State Museum of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg…2015 First place Photography, Tinicum Art Fair.