Lee Renninger is a ceramic-based installation artist. She has exhibited at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, the Mint Museum, and the Sidney Meyer International Ceramics Competition in Victoria, Australia, among others. Her awards include: a Pollock-Krasner Grant, a Jane Crater Hiatt Fellowship, and three MAC Visual Arts Fellowships She has been an artist-in-residence at the Kohler Company in Wisconsin, the Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France and the McColl Center for the Visual Arts in North Carolina. Commissions include works for the Potawatomi Hotel in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, French Quarter Hyatt Hotel in New Orleans, St. Regis Hotel in Atlanta and the Island View Hotel in Gulfport, Mississippi. Her work was most recently published in The Ceramics Bible by Louisa Taylor and Contemporary Ceramics by Emmanuel Cooper. It is held in both public and private collections including those of Fidelity Investments, Ally Bank, Kohler Company and The Shepparton.
My work has evolved from a fascination with repeated patterns and multiples. Though ceramic based, it often incorporates other media in an installation format. I am most interested in speaking to the personal—bringing form to questions about our internal rather and external states.
The use of excessive embellishment and overstatement in the work creates its own kind of odd beauty—a visual hyperbole capable of seducing its viewers. This use of enhancement allows me to reference historical and cultural memes and, in turn, create layers of possible meaning.
It is my intention, as well, to challenge some of the long-standing beliefs associated with the use of clay–that it is a “craft” material and lacks a real place in contemporary art contexts. I choose to treat clay antithetically, questioning the possibilities of the material–how it might be used and in what ways it can speak of our time.
A year after Hurricane Katrina devastated my city, I was still homeless. I had lost my house, my job, pretty much everything. I lived on the road for quite a while, still in shock I think, staying at various artist residencies so that I could continue my artistic practice. SFAI was among those residencies, and I could not be more grateful. My time at the Institute was part of a period of recovery and renewal that ended up changing the course of my life and practice.