Updated: Apr 1, 2020
The Artist Sophie Heinrich in a Conversation with Art Historian Ruth Polleit Riechert
Sophie Heinrich was born in Cologne in 1991. In 2017, she has completed her studies of Fine Art as masterstudent of Elizabeth Peyton at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. Before joining the Peyton class in 2015, she studied with Tal R from 2012 to 2014 and with Stefan Kürten and Enrico David from 2014 to 2015. Her works have already been exhibited in Düsseldorf, Cologne, Berlin and Amsterdam. In February 2019 we met Sophie Heinrich in her studio in Düsseldorf.
What drove you to work as an artist?
I am fascinated by the space artistic work opens up or in which creative work and thinking takes place. There are no explicit framework conditions. All kinds of thoughts and feelings can be seen and developed.
What inspires you, where do you find your ideas?
My interest lies in examination. I am fascinated by the interaction during the painting process and the observation of different relationships and influences on canvas. The potential of design elements such as shape, colour, line and light, as well as their combination and intensity.
What influence did Kunstakademie Düsseldorf have on you?
In terms of painting, it has led me to abstraction. Depicting figures or objects, I found the artistic references oppressive, because they often distract from the way a painting is created. The first semester I spent mainly with drawing. The constant exchange with the class and the professors gradually and automatically influences you.
Which forms of implementation, techniques, materials do you prefer? How do you work?
Until 2017 I painted with oil paint. Since then I have been using tempera, meaning that I mix colour pigments with an emulsion that consists of egg yolk, oil, and water. Tempera is darker and pastier on the canvas than oil paint. I layer colours on top of each other, give them a particular shape, a well-defined form, or leave them undefined.
Complementary or dissonant interaction of picture elements and colours creates a balance of power that I work with until the painting reaches autonomy.
What do you want to do with your art?
Casting aside attributes of categorisation, allowing the distinction to happen naturally by integrating disharmonic shapes or colour combinations, which in turn merge into a harmonious totality. I do not try to avoid making mistakes in the picture, I even feel that they contribute to something alive. Ultimately, the painting, as a synthetic result, should have a liberating influence on restrictive patterns and ways of thinking.
Do you collect art?
Of course. The collection is created by exchanging works with friends and colleagues and is not very big. I appreciate it very much.
Thank you, Sophie!
Selected works by Sophie Heinrich can be purchased.
Interview: Ruth Polleit Riechert Produktion: Christoph Blank Fotos: Jennifer Rumbach
Read the interiew in German on kunstbar.de.
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