YveYANG Gallery is pleased to announce Pinch Me Hard and Soft, the US solo debut of German artist Pauline Rintsch (b. 1995). Akin to the acrobatic anguish in Balthus, Rintsch captures figures with dynamic poses in abstract settings, only magnified with an enigmatic femininity. Her fluid use of oil on paper enlivens uncanny psychological depth to each of her subjects—stale, moist, clunky and alive, transforming mundane feelings into subtle erotics, imperfect scenarios into magical tinkerings. Exhibition text is by Hindley Wang. The exhibition will be on view from June 28 to August 17, 2024, with an opening reception on June 28 from 6-8 PM.

I lived mostly inside a mirror. Two minutes after my birth I had already lost my origins.
—Clarice Lispector, The Passion According to G.H. (1964)

Pauline Rintsch paints reflections and navels. She looks at herself in the mirror, at her friend in the rearview, at her own belly button and those mystic beginnings finding her in dreams. She also bends her figures in acrobatic contortions, elongates their gazes in longing uncertainty, and confronts them in abrasive environments. The settings are usually vague but particular—like wombs. Fluid and hollow.


Perhaps also about birth was Gabrielle d’Estrées and One of Her Sisters (ca. 1594). The gaze of the French mistress and her mysterious double escape the medieval frame in detached mischief. Within the delicately draped enclosure, their skin appears pristine with effervescent glow, untouched by the surrounding folds—their expressions white, drawn through the tip of their fingers, pinching.

Pregnant with a quiet erotic, oil becomes light and translucent on paper, flesh dimmed and rubbed. In the hands of Rintsch, hair hangs like a dried carving or wet mop. Skin colors like an oxidized fruit or a weathered corpse. Fainted stare yearns in a face smudged. Rintsch banishes the prescribed seduction of female figuration from the masculine tradition of painting and offers a blasphemous self-exploration of imperfections. The space is dark, moist, glistening in uncertain depths and shallow grounds, whispered with caprice, stranded in a blushed ear. Socks and Poppy. Speak with your fear.

Layers lather in the surfaces of Rintsch’s works—layers obscure, porous, deceiving. Sheerness is embodied as an act of garment, by a simple gesture of going under and stretching open—socks thick, elastic fingers. In the passage of unbecoming to coming into being, everything is strange and new. A monstrous baby born out of a bizarre dream, (un)leashed with a chain of pearls as umbilical cords, coming loose. An orange moth ascends with a thread of umbilical pearls, emerging against green viscous drips. Red curtain. Wonder eyes, legs open, dark skies.

Pauline Rintsch paints with a lucidity under the veneer of delirium, desires delivered as distortions, beginnings effaced like doomed ends. With spontaneity and sedimentation, these paintings liken to archaic preservations of a life palpitating with immediacy. A vision of modernity ripe with mystery, enigma bewildered by banality. In a sleight of hand, Rintsch turns agony into effaced pleasures, ennui into quiet marvels, reveling in an incompleteness that is nothing short of a certain sorcery: undressing by the river, shirt immersing the head, hanging on, coming undone.

— Hindley Wang, June 2024.

Pauline Rintsch (b.1995) lives and works in Duesseldorf, Germany. Rintsch received a Meisterschüler diploma from professor Tomma Abts at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf (Academy of Fine Arts Duesseldorf) in 2023. She is the recipient of the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes (The German Academic Scholarship Foundation) for 2019 – 2023. Rintsch had her first solo exhibition at La Felce in Cologne, May 2024.

Opening Reception: 06.28.2024, 6-8 PM



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