Identifier

etd-04152013-094149

Degree

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Art

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

For Louisiana artist Charles Henry Reinike II, environment acted as a stimulating force and stirred his artistic emotion. Although he began his career in New Orleans during the shock of the Great Depression, Reinike managed to thrive and was a leader in the arts community from the early 1930s until his death in 1983. Although most widely regarded for his watercolors rendered in the plein-air tradition, Reinike worked in an impressively varied range of mediums and excelled in many of them. As a poetic artist, Reinike held great passion for Louisiana, and his lyrical paintings read like odes to the beauty of the state. Reinike did not merely paint direct, physical images of the moss-draped trees or bayou vistas that occupied his mind, though. Instead, he tried to grasp their essence, working back from pure abstraction towards half-dreamed images of the places he loved. Reinike was a colorist, and his palette ranged from vibrant to muted tones depending upon his mood. Reinike gave strength to the stunning qualities of his surroundings, attempting to capture the spirit of Louisiana’s landscapes and people. His works are private and personal statements, while being universally understood. Reinike’s contribution to the Southern art scene lies in the deeply personal statements about lifestyles in Louisiana that still hang on hundreds of walls of individual homes throughout the country. Beyond his skills at watercolor painting, Charles H. Reinike worked in a variety of other artistic media, throughout which he maintained his distinctive style throughout his career. Over the course of his lifetime, Reinike successfully revealed cultural truths about a momentous time in American history, transcended artistic racial barriers towards African Americans at a time when their depiction in art was minimal, and encapsulated the deep contrasts between the traditional Southern landscape and the modern one that emerged during his career.

Date

2013

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Savage, Matthew

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