Dasha Reich is always looking for inspiration.
SRQ Review | September 2022
in visual arts
Dasha Reich in her studios.
Dasha Reich is always looking for inspiration. So naturally, for her next show at the Art Ovation Hotel, she called on a lifetime of travel, culture and experience. “The exhibition is called Life’s Silk Road because I have lived in so many places in my life and everything has influenced me and stayed with me. It started in Prague, where I was born, and continues in Jerasulem, where I studied, then in New York, and now in Sarasota. With this exhibition, even though the paintings are very abstract, they reminded me of my travels,” says Reich. Reich is an abstract painter and artist who works primarily with a very unique set of materials – pure pigments and epoxy resins. This medium allows Reich to create paintings that are both abstract, yet resembling the natural world. “My resin room is a bit like my lab – all of my paints are resin mixed with high pigments, resulting in lots of little chemical reactions and mixing. I use material from England which has qualities that the other resins don’t, which allows me to do some interesting tricks with it,” attests Reich’s Academy of Art and Design as a teenager in Jerusalem—his introduction to resin was a happy accident. “My husband was an orthodontist. and knew a lot about different epoxies and resins. When I first used them, something just clicked,” says Reich.
While Reich has worked in resin as both a painter and a sculptor for 25 years, her exhibition this fall at Art Ovation represents a new step for her: the shift to purely abstract designs as opposed to the multi-layered resin paintings that she was known for. Whereas in his previous work, which involved meticulously retaining layers of flowers and lines – a process that could take up to three months – his large-scale abstract paintings had to be completed within hours due to the speed with which the resin hardens or dries. In these moments, Reich draws on her career in the fashion industry, a career in which she learned to make quick decisions when choosing complementary colors. “Six months out of the year I was on the road working with colors and fabrics and making quick decisions. This carries over to my work with resin, you don’t have days and days to make a decision Even still, there is a madly calculated method. Due to the large scale of his paintings, Reich can spend an entire day preparing the canvas and sorting out the technicalities of what colors to use and when to use them. that’s all you have to do is trust your instincts and dive in. “I know what I want to achieve but I compromise a lot during the painting process because the resin has a mind of its own. It becomes a blend 50 -50 between what I want and what the resin wants. Letting go is still a very new and somewhat scary thing for me,” Reich admits.