Renée Radell is a consummate colorist and figurative painter who has been widely recognized during a career that spans 70 years. Currently working in mixed media in New York City, Radell entered the art world in the State of Michigan as an award-winning student watercolorist who moved to oil painting during her studies at the Detroit Society of Arts & Crafts, now the College for Creative Studies.
In the mid-1960s Radell emerged in the mainstream gallery scene of New York as a pioneering woman social commentary painter, inciting critical acclaim at home and in Europe. Her sociopolitical suggestions, deftly stated with signature brushstrokes, struck a chord among the intellectual avant-garde during a time of turbulent change, even when Pop and Minimalism were new darlings in the art world.
Sometimes satirical, sometimes humorous, often tragic, yet always intellectually piercing, her pictures convey an acute social consciousness and compassion, incorporating images of life’s journey, hope and hopelessness, conflict and 1regeneration on her chosen stage. They demonstrate remarkable vitality and are increasingly germane to today’s society.
In the early 1980s, Radell moved to New York City, where she currently resides and works from her Tribeca studio. Compared with earlier pieces, her work has become more subjective and allegorical through the use of myth and symbolism to represent the societal enigmas that she observes so keenly.
In our book, Renée Radell - Web of Circumstance, art critic Eleanor Heartney surveys Radell’s extensive oeuvre and again asks the question raised by Linda Nochlin in a now famous ARTnews article from 1971 “why have there been no great women artists?” Over a series of interviews with the artist, Heartney unearths complex themes that provide a glimpse into Radell’s singular visual interpretation of our collective Web of Circumstance.
For more information about Renée Radell, please visit www.reneeradell.com.
Renée Radell The Political Fertility Rite
1968 oil on Masonite 96 x 48 inches
About Author Eleanor Heartney
Eleanor Heartney is an author and Contributing Editor to Art in America and Artpress. Among her books are Art and Today, Postmodernism, and Postmodern Heretics: The Catholic Imagination in Contemporary Art. She is a co-author of After the Revolution: Women who Transformed Contemporary Art and The Reckoning: Women Artists in the New Millennium. Heartney is a past President of AICA-USA, the American section of the International Art Critics Association. Her awards include the College Art Association’s Frank Jewett Mather Award and the French government’s Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.