Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Imaginary Landscape #10

T. Renner, "Imaginary Landscape #10," 2010, acrylic on paper, 6" x 4".

Monday, November 29, 2010

Imaginary Landscape #9

T. Renner, "Imaginary Landscape #9," 2010, acrylic on paper, 6" x 4".

Originally posted November 29, 2010.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Mentioned on the B.E.L.T. Blog

Photo by Toby Weiss.

My piece, "Venus di Milo," (the painting with the red, white, and black stripes in the above photo) was recently mentioned on Toby Weiss' B.E.L.T. blog in a titled, "St. Louis Holiday Shopping? Buy Local." Toby says,
Take a look at the vignette above in one corner of my dining room. On the right is “Venus de Milo” by Tony Renner. It’s part of his Birth of the Cool series, 12 paintings inspired by the Miles Davis (a St. Louisan!) album of the same name.
I still have a few paintings from my Birth of the Cool series available for purchase. They are acrylic on canvas, 18" x 24", and I am selling them for $300 each.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Even Dreams Must Fall To Rules So Stupidly (for Richard Butler)

T. Renner, "Even Dreams Must Fall To Rules So Stupidly (for Richard Butler)," 2010, acrylic on paper, 6" x 4".

Friday, November 26, 2010

We Will Live Our Stupid Dream (for Richard Butler)

T. Renner, "We Will Live Our Stupid Dream (for Richard Butler)," 2010, acrylic on paper, 6" x 4".

Thursday, November 25, 2010

We Are So Stupid; We All Dream (for Richard Butler)

T. Renner, "We Are So Stupid; We All Dream (for Richard Butler)," 2010, acrylic on paper, 6" x 4".

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Improvisation for Derek Bailey #8

T. Renner, "Improvisation for Derek Bailey #8," 2008, acrylic on coated card stock, 7" x 5".

[originally posted 1-9-2009 and re-posted 11-24-09]

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

City of Refuge

T. Renner, "City of Refuge," 2008, digital photograph.

City of Refuge Christian Church, 1208 North Sarah, St. Louis, is presenting a poetry reading on Saturday, November 27, at 7:00 p.m. The reading will feature Brandon "Poet Xplicit" Thornton, Mikka Rogers, Iggnyte, Taylored Poet, Lisa M., Honey Luv, Lavita, and the host will be Aja La'Starr. Admission is $5.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Composition for Josef Albers

T. Renner, "Composition for Josef Albers," 2009, oil on paper, 4.25" x 5".

One of the books I most looked at a couple of years ago when I was in the library trying to avoid actually working on my Master's thesis was Albers and Moholy-Nagy: From the Bauhaus to the New World, edited by Achim Borchardt-Hume. This book so inspired me that my first completed painting was an homage to Albers. This blurb from the publishers web site tells the tale:
This beautifully illustrated book highlights the contrasts and correspondences in the lives and work of two of Modernism’s greatest innovators, Josef Albers (1888–1976) and László Moholy-Nagy (1895–1947). Beginning in the 1930s, Albers and Moholy-Nagy each developed a rigorously abstract language that condensed art to its visual fundamentals: line, color, texture, light, and form. This language experienced a creative explosion during their Bauhaus years, when both artists moved freely between media and disciplines. Essays by leading scholars follow the artists’ separate paths through to their emigration to the United States, where each continued to push tirelessly the conventions of artistic practice—Albers at Black Mountain College in North Carolina and then at Yale University, and Moholy-Nagy in Chicago at the New Bauhaus School and the Institute of Design. As highly influential teachers, Albers and Moholy-Nagy became important catalysts for the transmission of Modernist ideas from Europe to America.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Running Up That Hill

T. Renner, "Running Up That Hill," 2008, gouache on paper, 7" x 5".

(Originally posted 4-19-2009.)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Improvisation for Roscoe Mitchell

T. Renner, "Improvisation for Roscoe Mitchell," 2009, oil on paper, 7" x 5".

ECM Records has recently released a new compact disc by Roscoe Mitchell called Far Side.

From the ECM web site:
A live album from Roscoe Mitchell and his exceptional Note Factory band, Far Side features bracingly adventurous music from a performance at the Burghausen Jazz Festival in southern Germany in 2007. The Note Factory offers an uncompromising exploration of the levels and degrees of sound inside Roscoe Mitchell’s panoptic compositions, and the constantly-changing music harnesses great energies inside its broad structures.

“Far Side” is the second ECM disc from Mitchell’s Note Factory ensemble. Roscoe described the first, 1999’s Nine To Get Ready as “the coming together of a dream I had many years ago of putting together an ensemble of improvising musicians with an orchestral range.” The dream now a solid reality, Mitchell has continued not only to blur demarcation lines between composition and improvisation in this group - as he has in other bands before it - but also to inspire a generation of players. Far Side features a particularly gifted cast of young trailblazers. Trumpeter Corey Wilkes, and pianists Craig Taborn and Vijay Iyer are meanwhile all established as bandleaders in their own right, and playing with Mitchell has been a priority for each of them.

Craig Taborn explained why in an interview with Nate Chinen: “The kind of things that Roscoe works with [in the Note Factory] have to do with developing your ideas within a certain space, to make it as three-dimensional as possible. To make it full of activity and different currents so that it's a really deep structure, as opposed to being a one-dimensional structure. He likes a lot of depth. The meaning stems from the multiplicity of ideas. But coming out of that, the possibilities of sound change, because you're forced to evolve your sound, your ideas and everything on your own in that context... It really forces you to listen to everything almost with more clarity. You become really aware of the texture. Instead of focusing on one idea or one line of improvisation, you're focusing on this unified space in which all this stuff's occurring. Playing with Roscoe has made me hear that kind of space differently.”

(To facilitate soloist identification amid the flow of things on the present recording: Vijay Iyer, Jaribu Shahid and Tani Tabbal incline to the left side of the stereo panorama, and Craig Taborn, Harrison Bankhead and Vincent Davis to the right.)

Born in Chicago in 1940, Roscoe Mitchell is one of the innovators in creative music of the post-Coltrane, post-Ayler era, and one of the outstanding composer-leaders to have emerged from the ranks of the AACM. He founded the Art Ensemble of Chicago (originally the Roscoe Mitchell Art Ensemble), whose ECM legacy includes the critically-lauded albums Nice Guys, Full Force, Urban Bushmen, and Tribute To Lester. More recently Mitchell has co-led the Transatlantic Art Ensemble with fellow saxophonist Evan Parker. Roscoe’s album with this conglomeration, Composition/ Improvisation Nos 1, 2 & 3, won an Album-of-the-Year Award (Choc de l’année) from France’s Jazzman magazine – one of many honours bestowed upon Mitchell. In addition to his touring and performing activities, Roscoe Mitchell currently holds the position of Distinguished Milhaud Professor of Music at California’s Mills College. Far Side is issued shortly after his 70th birthday.

Craig Taborn can currently be heard on Michael Formanek’s new album The Rub & Spare Change, and he’s just recorded a solo piano disc due for 2011 release on ECM. In 2005 he played on David Torn’s album Prezens and with Roscoe appears on the aforementioned Nine To Get Ready and the two Transatlantic Art Ensemble discs – as do bassist Jaribu Shahid and drummer Tani Tabbal, who have been part of Mitchell’s music for more than 30 years.

Dynamic young trumpeter Corey Wilkes has also recorded for ECM with the Transatlantic Art Ensemble and filled Lester Bowie’s vacant seat in the Art Ensemble of Chicago since 2003. He is widely regarded as an important player for the future of jazz and funk and hybrid forms in between.

Vijay Iyer, Harrison Bankhead and Vincent Davis all make ECM debuts on Far Side. Iyer, very much an improviser of the moment, was recently voted Musician of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association. Bassist/cellist Harrison Bankhead and drummer Vincent Davis have toured together with the Roscoe Mitchell Trio. Perhaps best known for his work with the late Fred Anderson, Bankhead has played with Oliver Lake and Joshua Redman, as well as the groups 8 Bold Souls, Frequency and the Indigo Trio. Vincent Davis, previously a member of the trio of Malachi Favors Maghostut, has also played in groups led by Craig Taborn and Billy Brimfield.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Shroud (for Patti Smith)

T. Renner, "Shroud (for Patti Smith)," 2010, monotype on newsprint, 9" x 12".

Congratulations to Patti Smith for winning the 2010 National Book Award in the memoir category for her beautiful book Just Kids.

From the National Book Award web site:
In Just Kids, Patti Smith’s first book of prose, the legendary American artist offers a never-before-seen glimpse of her remarkable relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe in the epochal days of New York City and the Chelsea Hotel in the late sixties and seventies. An honest and moving story of youth and friendship, Smith brings the same unique, lyrical quality to Just Kids as she has to the rest of her formidable body of work—from her influential 1975 album Horses to her visual art and poetry.

Patti Smith is a writer, performer, and visual artist. She gained recognition in the 1970s for her revolutionary mergence of poetry and rock. Her seminal album Horses, bearing Robert Mapplethorpe’s renowned photograph, has been hailed as one of the top 100 albums of all time. She has recorded twelve albums.

Smith had her first exhibit of drawings at the Gotham Book Mart in 1973 and has been represented by the Robert Miller Gallery since 1978. Her books include Witt, Babel, Woolgathering, The Coral Sea, and Auguries of Innocence.

In 2005, the French Ministry of Culture awarded Smith the prestigious title of Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres, the highest honor awarded to an artist by the French Republic. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Untitled Sketch

T. Renner, "Untitled Sketch," 2010, charcoal on paper, 9" x 6".

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Improvisation for Richard Fortus

T. Renner, "Improvisation for Richard Fortus," 2009, acrylic on paper, 7" x 5".

Originally posted November 16, 2009.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Lemp Sky

T. Renner, "Lemp Sky," 2008, digital photograph.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Red Zinnias

T. Renner, "Red Zinnias," 2010, digital photograph.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Artie and the Art

T. Renner, "Artie and the Art," 2010, digital photograph.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Composition in Red, Black, and Yellow

T. Renner, "Composition in Red, Black, and Yellow," 2007, acrylic on paper, 4" x 6".

Thursday, November 11, 2010


T. Renner, "Untitled," 2010, digital photograph.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Work in Progress, Step 3

T. Renner, "Work in Progress, Step 3," 2010, gouache over charcoal on paper, 9" x 12".

By the way, this piece is based on a painting that I saw in the studio where I've been taking a drawing class.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

St. Alphonsus

T. Renner, "St. Alphonsus," 2008, digital photograph.

Monday, November 8, 2010

"Anti-" Cover

T. Renner, "Untitled," 2010, digital photograph.

Steven D. Schroeder, editor of the on-line poetry journal Anti-, has used this photo as the cover to the November 2010 issue.

Steven says,
Anti- is not aesthetically affiliated with Nicanor Parra’s school of antipoetry, though the editor does think more poets ought to heed Parra’s advice that “You have to improve the blank page.” Anti- is contrarian, a devil’s advocate that primarily stands against the confinement of poetry in too-small boxes. Anti- wants to provide a single arena for a wide range of styles and ideas, so these different kinds of poets and poems can either fight it out or learn to coexist. We want to be a venue where voices from the margin can be heard next to more established ones. We’re also interested in work that blurs boundaries: between verse and prose, traditional and cutting edge, metrical and free, humorous and scary, narrative and lyric and linguistically fragmented.

Anti- publishes both “issues” and “featured poets.” Issues will contain writing by multiple poets, will appear at least twice a year at possibly irregular intervals, and will stay on the main page for at least a month. Featured poets will stand alone on the main page for (typically) two weeks. All authors will remain available in the archive.

Work in Progress, Step 2

T. Renner, "Work in Progress, Step 2," 2010, gouache over charcoal on paper, 9" x 12".

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Tombstones at Gumbo Cemetery

T. Renner, "Tombstones at Gumbo Cemetery," 2010, digital photograph.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Bee with Daisies

T. Renner, "Bee with Daisies," 2010, digital photograph.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Work in Progress, Step 1

T. Renner, "Work in Progress, Step 1," 2010, gouache over charcoal on paper, 9" x 12".

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sketch of an Anonymous Painting #1

T. Renner, "Sketch of an Anonymous Painting #1," 2010, charcoal on paper, 9" x 12".

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Sketch of an Anonymous Painting #2

T. Renner, "Sketch of an Anonymous Painting #1," 2010, charcoal on paper, 9" x 12".

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

For Robert Rauschenberg

T. Renner, "For Robert Rauschenberg," 2008, acrylic on paper, 5" x 7".

Monday, November 1, 2010

A Drawing (Pre-Election Jitters)

T. Renner, "A Drawing (Pre-Election Jitters)," 2008, ballpoint pen on paper, 4.25" x 5.5".

(Originally posted November 2, 2008.)