PRINT October 1996


A description of Lois Renner’s work sounds straightforward enough. The artist constructs wooden models, generally measuring around 60 by 70 inches, of his former Salzburg studio, places small familiar objects inside, and then photographs details of the set. The resulting photos are enlarged, often according to the exhibition space in which they appear (mostly around 80 by 110 inches); sometimes they’re shown alongside the models, at other times alone. A first hint, though, that the work is more complex than this description allows comes with the name Renner gives his photographs—“Testbilder,” that is, “test pictures.” The term provides a clue as to Renner’s influences and predecessors: Beuys and the Dusseldorf “model builders” of the mid ’80s. But in contrast to these more sculpturally minded forebears, Renner insists on calling his works paintings. His paintings, however, do not

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