HomeFebruary 2022Hannah Lupton Reinhard- A Young Artist’s Solo Debut

Hannah Lupton Reinhard- A Young Artist’s Solo Debut

    Hannah Lupton Reinhard was destined to paint, but her calling was not fully realized until college. Born and raised in Irvine, Hannah attended Tarbut v’Torah from grades K through 12 and can say without reservation that her Jewish upbringing pulses through her life and her craft.
  Her parents, Professors Julia Lupton and Ken Reinhard, prioritized raising their four children in a home infused with Judaism. Ken’s father, Frank, was born in Germany into a completely secular household. The fact that the religion he did not practice was nearly the cause of his death led his son Ken—as the child of a survivor living in America—to revisit his own relationship to faith and practice. Judaism became a central part of the Lupton Reinhard household, so much so that Ken and Julia wanted their children to receive a day school education to cultivate their knowledge of Jewish texts and values from a young age. 
    When asked about her earliest Jewish memory, Hannah remembers the intensity and thrill of Passover seders in her childhood home—first night with extended family and second night packed wall-to-wall with friends. Kabbalat Shabbat every Friday morning at TVT, countless bar and bat mitzvah ceremonies, and weekly Shabbat dinners at home are the memories that punctuate Hannah’s art.
    Hannah realized she loved to draw in second grade. When asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, she would say, “A famous artist like Monet with paintings in all the world’s biggest museums.” By high school, however, drawing became more of a hobby. As a college freshman at UC Berkeley, Hannah planned on majoring in Art History, but soon realized that she did not want to read what scholars were writing about other people’s art. She wanted to make her own art and have experts write about her. She transferred from Berkeley to the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and the rest is history.
    Hannah’s large, color-infused paintings (bedazzled with Swarovski crystals) are distinctive and imposing. She describes her process as “subtractive.” Each work begins by layering paint on the canvas and then strategically removing layers with rubber ceramic tools. Her art tends to incorporate images of friends and family she knows intimately, using their facial features and limbs rendered in powerful color and texture to create a visual intensity that pulls the viewer in at every angle. Many of her paintings incorporate biblical references, Jewish ritual objects like Havdalah candles, kiddush cups and head coverings—often held or used in unconventional ways—and a sense of Jewish time.
    Hannah’s paintings have been featured at the 2021 Armory Show and the 2021 Untitled Art Fair, part of Miami Art Week, as well as group shows in Los Angeles, Stockholm, and New York. Her Havdalah painting “Before the First Star Appears” was one of five winners of Brooklyn Museum and Instagram’s #YourPortrait2020. Hannah is represented by Fredericks and Freiser in New York.
    Hannah’s first solo exhibition “Beshert: Beholden,” on display at Seasons LA gallery (908-912 South Olive St, Los Angeles 90015) January 14 through February 20, imagines Jewish femininity within a fairy tale of art history. At first, the paintings present as girly, colorful, and sparkly— too bright and even hard to look at. But as you approach the works, the nuances draw you into their technical mastery and mysterious tonality. The paintings investigate dualities of beauty and ugliness, saturation and muddiness, movement and paralysis, beckoning and withdrawal, immaturity and sophistication.
    At the heart of the show is an altarpiece triptych featuring an imposing landscape painting staggered by two stained-glass-framed portraits in the style of synagogue decor. The center panel, “Song of the Sea,” features women immersed in acts of care and celebration, pointedly refusing to engage with the viewer. Instead, highly patterned textiles take over the figures themselves.
    On February 5 at 6:00 pm, Hannah will be the guest presenter during Havdalah Together, a Saturday night program sponsored by Jewish Collaborative of Orange County that features local and nationally recognized artists, scholars and activists sharing their work and ideas. Join on Zoom or Facebook to enjoy a virtual tour of Hannah’s gallery show and personal conversation.
    Hannah approaches her work with reverence. When asked where she sees herself five years from now, she shared that her primary goal is to keep on growing as an artist. “What I am doing now is really hard and seems to be getting harder the deeper I move into my craft. I finally understand that the fear of the unknown I feel every time I begin a project is a necessary part of the process. The day I no longer experience a measure of trepidation, I will need to reevaluate and identify a new language of artistic expression that inspires the sense of awe that infuses my current work.”

Rabbi Hazzan Marcia Tilchin is the founder of the Jewish Collaborative of Orange County, dedicated to building community through creative and compassionate collaboration. Rabbi Tilchin is also President of the Orange County Interfaith Network.



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