Senior & Shopmaker Gallery is pleased to present Edda Renouf: Drawings 1998-2011, the artist’s first one-person exhibition in New York since 2002. A painter celebrated for chromatic minimal paintings and drawings of delicate intimacy, Renouf was born in Mexico City in 1943 and educated in New York. With her husband, composer Alain Middleton, she has resided in Paris since 1991.
Working in New York during the years 1968-1991, Renouf developed as an artist against the backdrop of minimalism, whose emphasis on the essential unity of pure geometry is both evident in her pictorial vocabulary, yet disavowed by her intuitively lyrical sensibility and inspiration in nature as metaphor. Her study of forms present in nature is alluded to in titles such as Open Field and Autumn River, as is her frequent use of blues, grays, ochres, siennas, and other earth tones. Another theme is that of music and sound, or in the artist’s words, “making the invisible visible” with the repetition of lines of similar and varying length, direction, and proximity. Renouf works in cycles or series in which she explores various materials and techniques, as well as specific colors and formats.
Attracted by the organic materiality of raw linen and paper, Renouf, through the process of removing threads from the warp and weft of canvas, and incising and scoring lines into pigment and paper, allows her materials to reveal their inherent structure rather than superimposing an image upon them. First layering her pigments on paper, the artist subjects the surface to erasures and rubbing, incisions with a sharp needle, and/or the scraping away of pigment. The drawings thus become in the artist’s words, “a record of the days, weeks, months, and seasons in which they were created becoming a journal of my working process...”
Renouf attended universities in America, France, and Germany. She earned her B.A. in 1965 from Sarah Lawrence College and in 1971 her M.F.A. from Columbia University. In 1997, Renouf was the subject of a retrospective exhibition at the Staatliche Kunsthalle in Karlsruhe, Germany and more recently, in 2004, at The National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. Both exhibitions were accompanied by full-length catalogues. Her work is found in the numerous public collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York; the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Centre Pompidou in Paris; the British Museum in London; and the Australian National Gallery in Canberra, among others.