Cornelia Renz

Cornelia Renz, AltNeu (the Old New), pigment marker on two sheets of Perspex, 2018     

Cornelia Renz, *1966 in Kaufbeuren, Germany

lives and works in Berlin and Jerusalem. Cornelia Renz works primarily with pigment pens on acrylic glass. Inspired by ancient scientific graphics on human anatomy and disease, she developed a distant, cool collage-based technique. She works on two panes of acrylic glass, which form their motifs only when both lie one above the other. At the interface of drawing and painting, large-format, complex and strongly colored pictorial worlds emerge.

In her work, she explores the potential and impact of the dissolution of established (gender) roles, these social constructions of reality that, over time, have transformed into seemingly natural images of being. Following the concept of grotesque realism, Renz questions these idealizing constructs by placing suppressed and marginalized aspects of human beings and society at the center of her work.

On the works in the exhibition:

Using comic to deal with the dark zones of life, Renz challenges the idea of the ‘ideal’ in order to do justice to the complexity of humans and their psychic turmoil.

Living in Israel, she became interested in the early Zionist Posters, that reminded her of the Propaganda Posters of the GDR which she had seen after moving from her Bavarian hometown to Leipzig. These posters not only show the new Jewish ideal of a working-class hero, able to work and defend the country, but also a promising picture of a virginal new start of  Jewish life. But reality proofed the new start lost its innocent virginity soon. Fighting, killing and dying was part of the reorganization of Jewish life.

The idea, women are the better half of mankind, and after feminism won, the world will be a better place, is tempting, but a similar illusion. Women count less in society – this structural injustice is a shame and needs feminism to stop it. For women are not less and not better, but worthy the same and equally complex. There is a Heroine to every Hero and to every Anti-Hero there is an Anti-Heroine. 

Prizes and Scholarships:

In 1996 she was awarded the Graphic Award ‚100 Saxon Graphics‘, in 1998 the grant of the Foundation Germination and one year later, in 1999, the master student scholarship of the State of Saxony. In 2001 she won the Marion Ermer Prize. In 2005 she was awarded the Schering Art Prize, followed in 2011 by the Villa Aurora Scholarship, Los Angeles / USA. In 2012 she was a scholarship holder of the Else-Heiliger-Fund of the Adenauer Stiftung and 2014-15 scholarship holder of the Künstlerhaus Schloss Balmoral. Since 2017 Renz works as a scholarship holder of the Art Cube Artists Studios in Jerusalem.