Lee Renninger

Artist Statement

Much of my work has evolved from an early fascination with repeated patterns and multiple units. Though, mostly ceramic based, the work often incorporates other media in an installation format. My real interest is in speaking to the personal—bringing form to questions about our internal rather than external states—though currently my work looks at how we respond to external conditions.

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—much like a flower attracts a bee. This use of enhancement allows me to reference historical and cultural metaphors, and in turn, create layers of possible meaning.

It is always my intention, as well, to challenge some of the long-standing beliefs associated with the use of clay--that it is a historically “craft” material and lacks a real place in contemporary art contexts. I choose to treat ceramics antithetically, questioning the possibilities of the material--how it might be used and in what ways it can speak of our time.

-- Lee Renninger


Lee Renninger is a ceramic-based installation artist, living in Gulfport, Mississippi. 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, the McColl Center for Arts and Innovation in North Carolina and the Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans. Commissions include works for the Potawatomi Hotel in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, French Quarter Hiatt 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 Art Museum in Victoria, Australia.