Katharina Renneisen is a German visual artist who uses analogue photography as her main medium. She works primarily with a large format camera and black-and-white film, maintaining full control over the photographic process from the exposure to the final print. Some of her silver gelatin prints are hand-coloured with oil paints and thus challenge the boundary between photography and painting.
Thematically, Katharina Renneisen focusses on classical pictorial genres and creates images full of references to the history of art. Her studio practice includes mainly still lifes and nudes. While in her still lifes, she arranges selected objects in self-built sets, her nudes either concentrate on the form of the female body itself or integrate it into more complex compositions involving furniture and textiles. In many of these pictures, a fine interplay between composition, light and shadow creates an abstract effect. Where partial or complete hand-colouring is applied, it adds a painterly quality to the realistic precision of the large format photographs.
With the ongoing body of work Paysage, Katharina Renneisen turns to the landscape genre. In her exploration of the French countryside, she largely draws on the classical repertoire of motifs, which took shape in the 19th century when French artists began to discover their native nature as a subject matter. The thematic and aesthetic proximity of painting and photography, which characterizes French landscape art of the mid-19th century, is developed by Renneisen into a synthesis. Her hand-coloured silver gelatin prints yield a unique aesthetics, which cannot be achieved even with digital means: While the large format camera records the elements of nature in all their details at a specific point in time, the oil paint offers the possibility of interpreting them beyond the moment. The results are equally immediate and timeless images of paysage.
Katharina Renneisen was born in Seeheim-Jugenheim, Hesse, in 1978. She holds a Master’s degree in Art History, Romance Philology and American Studies from Humboldt-University of Berlin. Years of experimentation as a photographer and a printer form the basis for her artistic practice. She lives and works with her partner, artist Max Renneisen, in Berlin.