Belsize Park art collector opens Claas Reiss Gallery in Regent’s Park
14:27 November 25, 2020
20:42 December 7, 2020
Claas Reiss has overcome lockdowns, pandemic restrictions and customs headaches to open his first show of Jule Korneffel’s abstract works next month
Opening an art gallery during a pandemic was not easy for Claas Reiss.
After delays caused by pandemic restrictions and shipping artwork from America, his business opened on November 2 at a former newsagent in the Regent’s Park estate – only to close the next day.
Now that the second lockdown ends, the public can finally enjoy the inaugural exhibition “All that kale” by New York abstract painter Jule Korneffel.
Reopening its doors on December 3, it “will give Londoners deprived of art the opportunity to finally see great paintings”.
“I had a moment wondering ‘is this the right time for this project? ”, Says the resident of Belsize Park. “But I kept my motivation to offer a place for new work by promising artists. It’s probably the only gallery near here, but anyone interested in collecting art and wanting to see young artists can descend from upscale neighborhoods to Regent’s Park Estate.
Reiss started collecting art when he moved to London 21 years ago to work in the City. He also takes evening classes and is passionate about oil painting.
Patron of the Camden Arts center in Hampstead, he collects the works of Korneffel.
“I went to see him in New York and immediately fell in love. It’s minimalist but for me the painting must be very gestural and you can see big brush marks on the canvas.
“She layers 10-15 acrylics, so the paintings are very deep and subtle, you have to see them in the flesh.”
He adds: “Some people distinguish between figurative and abstract, but for me it’s about process and application, I need to see the brushstrokes and the energy of the artist.
The gallery was born from a crossroads. Reiss wondered if he was going to become an artist but decided to open his own ‘tick the boxes’ space.
A frequent visitor to graduation fairs and art fairs, his mission is “to find nuggets, new talents”.
“My own aesthetic is not determined by that of the art world, I don’t care about race, gender or location, I look at paintings and artists and what moves me. I want to make my contribution to the ecosystem by helping young artists find an audience and show their work.
While large galleries support established names, he believes the art world must invest in emerging talent or it will die. His Project Space London downstairs will provide exactly that space.
“Young artists have nowhere to show their work when they leave university. I’ve been to exhibitions in industrial spaces in the middle of nowhere, but in my gallery, promising young artists just out of college can show their work 10 minutes from central London.
All That Kale by Jule Korneffel runs until January 30, 2021. Opening hours Wednesday to Saturday 11-6 by appointment. Claas Reiss Gallery 96, rue Robert, NW1.