He has taken the step into digitality. Lois Renner’s pictures of interiors are known for their precise composition as well as their ironic narration. Usually they show his studio, but really his own interior, the artist’s inner life. The painter/sculptor/installation artist/architect/photographer arranges all the dimensions of rooms and objects and then takes them into the medium of the surface, photography, finally producing just one print, in the quality and dimensions of a panel painting. Now Renner is adding a whole new level to his long-term study of the relationship between photography and painting, which always also dealt with the problematic of being an “artist” at the present time.
As in his earlier works, the photographer takes painting as his model, in the literal as well as the metaphorical sense. Lois Renner has set the rooms and the painted pictures of his inner life in a new relationship with each other. Since technical developments have made it possible to produce digitally designed pictures in whatever size is desired, Renner has used this means, as well, thereby putting analogue procedures like painting, sculpture, and classical photography into question.
Technically speaking, this produces hybrids – a term excellently suited to characterize the artistic qualities and issues of these pictures. After all, to put it very simply, Lois Renner’s entire oeuvre has to do with hybridity. It seems to him that photography casts its glance at the external things, at the external world, while painting shows the inside view of the same world. The interlocking of inner and outer is not only his method, it is also the theme of Lois Renner’s pictures. Through its own perspective, the artist’s view of reality makes the essence of the artistic stance recognizable.
“I use photography like a flashlight with which I illuminate my own inner life. Painting arises from what I have found during this search,” the artist describes his working method. The picture “Cornucopia”, in which a horn of plenty seems to float in a moving flood of color, comes out of himself.
But this is also the origin of the seemingly more realistic picture “Storm”, which shows a no less dynamic metal structure reflected in a surface of water in the center of his studio. The studio is a space that can be read primarily as a metaphor for this interior of the artist, as a site of unceasing introspection.
In “Club”, a huge boot with holes in it replaces the studio’s concrete pillar, while the artist himself stands in a darker zone at the margin of the picture – outside himself? His view of this same inner life is also found in the picture “The Breakthrough”, in which Lois Renner views his work as if from above.
Photographed faces are worked into painted portraits (“Drums ´n Paint”, “Kenzo”); in rooms, zones appear that seem to have a different degree of reality. Levels of reality seem to blur – although one cannot speak of reality in either photography or painting. Painterly gesture and photographic naturalism overlap, everything is painting, everything photography at the same time. A photograph from the studio becomes the basis for a painting, which itself becomes the subject of a photograph, which in turn is processed in painterly fashion on the computer. The end product is – a photograph? A painting? With Lois Renner, it is a picture.