Reinhoud d’Haese, better known by his first name, Reinhoud, is a singular artist. This solitary figure unconcerned by fashions or fads has a highly personal way of sculpting. He invents his own procedures, giving free rein to his imagination, and mainly works in metal, while also producing ceramics, glass pieces, drawings and monotypes. A dreamer, he is also a talented poet.
After training with a silversmith and studying at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture and at the Arts Décoratifs in Brussels, Reinhoud turns to sculpture. He mixes with the Cobra artists, and becomes a member of the group. He gets to know Christian Dotremont, Hugo Claus, Raoul Ubac and several others, and forms a close friendship with Pierre Alechinsky, with whom he frequently exhibits. In 1956, Reinhoud has his first solo exhibition at the Taptoe Gallery in Brussels. From 1959, he is defended by the Galerie de France in Paris, where he exhibits with Alechinsky in 1963. His work begins to travel all over the world, starting with the US, where in 1962 he exhibits his fantastic creatures at the Lefebre Gallery, New York.
In his studio, surrounded by a generous, humorous natural world, Reinhoud creates figures in welded copper, tin and cut out or chased brass, creating a fantastic bestiary of shining red creatures with coppery highlights, resulting from a glowing mixture of different metals. His creatures imply a somewhat mocking attitude. Rooted in daily life, they acknowledge their origins, ranging from Brueghel and Bosch to Cobra. Reinhoud stops at nothing, and his imagination often takes an exuberant and extravagant turn. He is bold enough to try anything, but always with a touch of humour.
The insect «Ranâtre», «the Inventor of the visor» and «Draag als ik uw ideaal» («Wear like me your ideal ») illustrate the artist’s wealth of themes and inspirational sources. The period he spends in New York made a powerful impression on him. He reinterprets figures embodying American culture, like the 1974 «Saloon keeper» and a team of American football players («Looking for action»).
With sculptures inspired by mediaeval legends and the animal kingdom, Reinhoud’s world remains as endearing as ever. The Northern influence and Surrealist tradition made him a deeply Belgian artist, who breathed new life into the sculptural vocabulary.