The work of Jesse Reichek reflects a unique
synthesis of painting and spirituality, including nearly 3000 works produced on
a daily basis throughout the second half of the twentieth century.
For more than half a century these paintings seek
to express the structure of process, the process of creation,
and the creation of relationship. In these paintings, symbol,
image and perspective are banished. Reichek examines the structure in
the incidents of experience and the totality of experience itself. Each
painting is afocal, a sacred moment of creation for the viewer. The
viewer becomes a partner in creation, generating sudden and
In the history of modern art, Reichek offers a
unique and extraordinary accomplishment.
The persuasion and manipulation of the Western
tradition are replaced by a democracy of spirit revealed through paint.
The paintings offer questions for which no answer exists. Contained
within the abstract of each series of paintings are common and
recognizable threads that connect the painter to the paintings, the
paintings to the viewer, and the viewer to the transcendent spiritual
themes that motivated the painter. The paintings offer reflections and
meditations on the I Ching, the Kabalah, the Song of Songs, and the
world’s great myths of creation, mortality, immortality, and death.
From 1951 to 1972 his works were exhibited and
collected by prominent galleries and museums around the world. From 1969
to 1971, at the invitation of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and
the IBM Corporation. As Artist in Residence for IBM, Reichek
participated in the Art and Technology Program, which included such
artists as Sam Francis, Roy Lichtenstein, Claus Oldenburg, Robert
Rauschenberg and Andy Warhol. In this effort Reichek explored the range
of connections between his painting and the computer. This pioneering
initiative offered early insight into the computer’s role in the ethos
of art and technology.
In 1972 Reichek decided to abandon the commercial
exhibition of his work to dedicate himself entirely to painting. This is
the first exhibit of his paintings in three decades, and the first
During Reichek’s 32 years of teaching at the
University of California, Berkeley he inspired thousands of students to
seek productive and fulfilling careers. Upon becoming Professor Emeritus
from the University of California, Berkeley, former students organized
an international celebration of Reichek’s teaching. His teaching, as
with his painting, celebrates the dignity of the individual. Former
students and colleagues as well as artists, critics, and curators from
throughout the United States, and around the world, anticipate attending
Reichek was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1916 and
educated at the Institute of Design Chicago and the Academy Julien in
Paris. He taught at the University of Michigan and Institute of Design.
From 1954 to 1986, he was Professor of Design and City & Regional
Planning at the University of California, Berkeley. Reichek lived and
worked in the countryside outside of Petaluma, California with his wife
of 56 years, Laure. Jesse Reichek died on July 18th, 2005.
REICHEK RETROSPECTIVE --- PARTNERS IN CREATION
1947 to 2005
Creators Equity Foundation
2324 blake street • Berkeley, ca • 94704
PHONE: (510) 665-4209 • FAX: (510) 665-4893