Sunday, September 28, 2008


T. Renner, "Pogo-Copter," 2007, acrylic and collage on paper, 10" x 8".

All I did was cut some funny images out of an old issue of Popular Mechanics, paste them down on a painted background and throw a frame around 'em.

Still, it makes me smile, and folks who've seen it seem to like it.

I've got a few 6" x 4" postcards of "Pogo-Copter" and I'd be glad to send you one if you'll send your mailing address to tony (dot) renner @ yahoo (dot) com.

Eight Minatures

T. Renner, "Untitled Minatures #'s 1-8," 2007, acrylic on paper, 7" x 5".

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Three More Variations

T. Renner, "Variations in Red, Black, & White #'s 1, 2, 3," 2008, acrylic on paper, 10" x 8" or 8" x 10".

Sunday, September 21, 2008

"Not Even #1"

T. Renner, "Not Even #1," 2008, acrylic on corrugated cardboard, 2' x 4'.

I had forgotten that I had a) taken a photo of this guy and b) given him a name.

He and his 4 little brothers were hanging at the Starbucks in the Loop during June, July and August.

From Hard-Edged Abstraction to Action/Abstraction

Hearing Elizabeth Armstrong's lecture at the Kemper Art Museum -- Armstrong is the curator of the fantastic "Birth of the Cool" exhibition currently showing at the Kemper -- made me consider the tension that exists between my action/abstraction paintings and my hard-edged abstractions. What you've seen, mostly, on this blog have been my action/abstraction pieces. Well, kids, here's a hard-edged piece:

T. Renner, "Improvisation in Red and White," 2007 (painted over), acrylic on canvas, 14" x 18".

And here's the same painting after being given the action/abstraction treatment:

T. Renner, "Where's Marilyn Monroe?," 2007, acrylic on canvas, 14" x 18".

Saturday, September 20, 2008

St. Louis Hard-Edged Abstraction: 12 Paintings (The Birth of the Cool)

T. Renner, "The Birth of the Cool: Move," 2008, acrylic on canvas, 24" x 18".

"St. Louis Hard-Edged Abstraction: 12 Paintings (The Birth of the Cool)" will open on Friday, October 17, at Left Bank Books, 399 North Euclid, St. Louis, Missouri, 63108.

In this show, my work is very influenced by the hard-edged abstract painters of mid-century such as Helen Lundberg, Lorser Feitelson, John McLaughlin, and Barnett Newman. Each of the pieces in the show has been named after a track on Miles Davis' album "Birth of the Cool." The pieces are composed of red, black, or white vertical stripes of various widths arranged as a series of pairs. "The Birth of the Cool" explores both repetition and self-imposed limitations.

Please note that the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum on the campus of Washington University has just opened a fabulous exhibition called "Birth of the Cool: California Art, Design, and Culture at Midcentury."

According to the Kemper website:
"Birth of the Cool: California Art, Design, and Culture At Midcentury" takes a look at the broad cultural zeitgeist of "cool" that influenced the visual, graphic, and decorative arts, furniture, architecture, music, and film produced in California in the 1950s and early 1960s. The exhibition, organized by the Orange County Museum of Art, includes a jazz lounge; a media bar with film, animation, and television programming; a period art gallery of hard-edge abstract paintings; selections of art, architectural, and documentary photography; and an interactive timeline that highlights examples of California, national, and international culture and history in the 1950s.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Self-Portrait: A Cartoon (Basquiat)

T. Renner, "Self-Portrait: A Cartoon (Basquiat)," 2008, Sharpie on paper, 4" x 5.25".

O.K., I've been thinking about volunteering to teach an art class for at-risk teens. The idea I've come up with is to introduce them to the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat.

I recently came across a quote from Basquiat where he explained that he crossed out words in his paintings to draw attention to them. That is just so cool to me that I almost can't wait to share it with a bunch of kids.

Along the same lines, the cartoon above contains my age, something I'm becoming more and more loathe to share.

The exercise I have in mind would be for the students to draw a self-portrait using the digits on their age as a base.

Two Variations

T. Renner, "Variation (Red, Grey) #1," 2008, acrylic and charcoal on paper, 6" x 4".

T. Renner, "Variation (Red, Grey) #2," 2008, acrylic on paper, 6" x 4".

Monday, September 15, 2008

Learn, Artist!

I play guitar (that's me in the hat) in an improvisational trio called Learn, Artist! and we are playing at Off Broadway on Wednesday, September 17.

Here's a story on the event from the Riverfront Times:
The Space Parlour: Live in St. Louis Series 2008

By Christian Schaeffer

The Riverfront Times, September 10, 2008

The second installment of The Space Parlour: Live in St. Louis series does what any good local compilation should do: It provides a sonic snapshot of a city's working musicians, highlights stylistic differences and suggests some sonic connections that transcend genre. These twenty tracks, which were recorded earlier this spring and broadcast on Nick Acquisto's KDHX (88.1 FM) radio show of the same name, demonstrate the programmer's diverse taste in music. While the previous incarnation of the series focused more on of-the-moment indie rock, the 2008 edition broadens the spectrum to include variations of guitar-based rock & roll. Learn, Artist! condenses its epic, instrumental explorations into "Under the Volcano," carving out a space that is both amorphous and suggestive. It's especially nice to see Dub Kitchen on the comp — this town's reggae community has deep roots, but it rarely crosses over into other scenes. The group's uptempo "District 3" follows the proud tradition of reggae songs that ask probing political questions while never dropping the beat.

While the sojourns away from straight-ahead rock & roll are noteworthy, there's plenty of good old-fashioned 4/4 rock action as well. The Deserters start off the disc with "Trash," a snaky, spindly shot of crunchy guitars and off-kilter vocals, and the Vultures reassert themselves as garage-rock saviors with a pair of raucous tracks. And while Theodore labors more squarely in the alt-country vein, the quartet continues to make its claim as the best band in town with the unhinged sing-along "Half Pint" and the circular, droning "Nowhere Near the Sea." It's worth picking up Live in St. Louis 2008 for Theodore's songs alone, although there are plenty of bands here that deserve your attention. The package also comes with a DVD containing live footage from the recordings. And while the prospect of watching a bunch of headphone-wearing dudes playing in a recording booth may not seem like compelling viewing, it serves as a nice visual complement to the music on the disc.

CD/DVD release shows at 9 p.m. on Saturday, September 13, and Wednesday, September 17, at Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Avenue. $10. 314-773-3363.

And here's a blurb from Matt Fernandes' Rock Candy blog:
KDHX DJ releases local rock compilation DVD

By Matt Fernandes

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Nick Acquisto, DJ for the Space Parlour show on KDHX FM 88.1, has been doing some good work of late with his “Live in St. Louis” series, documenting several local bands’ live performances on his show (Thursdays 8 pm.)

Similar to Lo-Fi Saint Louis, Acquisto’s site showcases some of St. Louis’ more ecclectic acts, such as Peck of Dirt, Theodore and Bob Reuter. He seems to favor grittier Americana and rock, though reggae act Dub Kitchen is included.

Acquisto will release the second annual series compilation this month at three shows. With a $10 cover charge, you’ll get a Digipak CD/DVD featuring live audio and video tracks from 11 artists. Attendees will also receive a "Parlour Cardlour," granting them access to the other shows for half price.

Wed. Sept. 17: The Deserters, Quief Quota and Learn, Artist! at Off Broadway.

Sat. Sept. 20: Dub Kitchen, Dozemarypool and Theodore at the Tin Can Tavern downtown on Locust.

All of the shows will benefit KDHX.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Study for 2008 Poetry Scores Art Invitational

T. Renner, "Study for 'Nailed Seraphim: Mortice caught on fire,'" 2008, gouache on paper, 4" x 6".

The invitation:
The poem "Nailed Seraphim" by K. Curtis Lyle is the subject of the 2008 Poetry Scores Art Invitational, to be held Friday, November 21 at Hoffman LaChance Contemporary, 3100 Sutton Blvd. in Maplewood, Mo. We would like to invite you to participate in the show.

A copy of "Nailed Seraphim" is available on the poet’s blog by clicking here.

The assignment: make a new piece of art that responds to "Nailed Seraphim" and is named after a verbatim scrap of language from the poem. In the past, we have tried to limit the show to stuff you can hang on the wall or easily stand up in the space, but there are no strict limits –- other than that we have to fit everything into Hoffman LaChance, and we are inviting something like 40 artists. This means we hope at least some artists work small –- but, in past years, we have proudly shown some monumental pieces at the art invitational.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Variations on a Theme

T. Renner, "Variation #1," 2008, acrylic on paper, 7" x 5"

T. Renner, "Variation #2," 2008, acrylic on paper, 7" x 5"

T. Renner, "Variation #3," 2008, acrylic on paper, 7" x 5"

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Sketch

So, I bought some calligraphy pens at Dick Blick today for 87 cents a piece and as I was getting ready to head to home from my studio time at the Luminary Center for the Arts I busted out this sketch:

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

$23.50 Club Continues

T. Renner, "$23.50 Club #10," 2008, acrylic on paper, 11" x 8.5".

T. Renner, "$23.50 Club #11," 2008, acrylic on paper, 11" x 8.5".

T. Renner, "$23.50 Club #12," 2008, acrylic on paper, 11" x 8.5".

T. Renner, "$23.50 Club #13," 2008, acrylic on paper, 11" x 8.5".

Friday, September 5, 2008

There Was Hummus

Thanks to the Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center for hosting my artist's reception yesterday.

And thanks to everyone who turned up!

My show will be up until October 13.