Mario Reis (b. 1953 in Germany) works with the forces of nature such as water and sediments to create river paintings and find color. Reis captures the essence of the river itself. He submerges untreated, stretched canvases into river beds all over the world and allows them to soak until sediments and minerals are collected onto the canvas. Thus, each painting is a self portrait of that specific river. The results are a variety of pigments and accumulated sediments. They flow from the landscape tradition of painting in that they are specific to a place and they are a record of time passed. The result is illuminated by water, making them the conceptual offspring of Monet’s haystacks, as the mystery of color and nature are intertwined.
The significant contemporary German artist has an extensive body of work ranging from rivers in Texas (e.g. Colorado River) to Europe (Rems River, Germany) and on to Japan (Minamata Kingun). He is internationally recognized and participated in over 100 solo and over 200 group exhibitions and is the recipient of many awards such as the Suntory Award in Osaka, Japan. His work has been acquired by public and private collections across the globe such as Yellowstone National Park, Great Basin National Park, Staatliche Kunstsammlung, Dresden, Germany, the Museum of Fine Arts, Santa Fe, New Mexico, the Museum of Art in Tucson, Arizona and Modern Art Museum, Kyoto, Japan, to name just a few. His name has been mentioned in German schoolbooks, an honor normally bestowed only on Old Masters. He was born in 1953 in Weingarten Germany and was a master student of Guenther Uecker.