Linda Warren Projects kicks off the summer season with three luminous and illuminating exhibitions by three noteworthy and powerful Chicago-based painters. These artists’ visual languages explore the nature of objects and aesthetics as they relate to popular culture, art history, and our own conciseness. Drawing from humor, cartoons, and irony, each artist borrows imagery that is unique, yet universal, and aims at recollecting memories and identity.
Gallery O - David Reninger, Transformation
Gallery O will feature “Transformation,” new paintings by David Reninger. This beautiful and poetic exhibition explores two bodies of work: the metamorphosis of the butterfly paintings, and an elegy for a friend. From beginning to end, Reninger visually embarks on a journey that completes the cycle of life for a butterfly. The physical and chemical are translated through paint, lines, and colors - dots for the eggs, lines for the path of life, colorful strokes for the flower, and abstract swirls of chemical change. These paintings are about instilling a sense of wonder in the viewer parallel to that of nature. In an elegy for a friend, the artist confronts death and loss through a series of fish and bowl paintings. Reninger uses the idea of a container, the bowl as the body and the fish as the spirit, to represent life and loss. Some paintings are full with both spirit and body, or fish and bowl; other paintings show only the body or container, symbolically the shell of life. All of these transformations constantly refer to the power of paint. Reninger states: “Paint becomes illusion and then upon close examination once again becomes paint. Image or abstraction, my aim is to perplex the viewer. A stripe or a path of light? Paint can be both of these simultaneously or morph into one or the other moment to moment. My work plays with this quizzical moment between abstraction and representation. My undogmatic approach brings some to dismiss this hybrid. I believe our global world demands an art of multiple meanings.”
David Reninger’s ever-evolving practice has been featured in venues throughout Chicago and the Midwest including the Ukrainian Museum of Modern Art, the Illinois Institute of Art, the Fort Wayne Museum and the Hyde Park Art Center amongst many others. Reninger has held teaching positions at Northern Illinois University and the University of Illinois, and has been a full-time elementary school art teacher at District 99 in Cicero since 2001. Reninger received his MFA from the University of Illinois in 1991.