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Renee Lotenero
Peveto, Houston, Texas
Recommendation by Elliott Zooey Martin

Lotenero photographs her handmade ceramic tiles, rescales and prints them en masse, using them to create some remarkable objects.


Continuing through December 15, 2012


Inspired by a magazine spread of Silvia Fendi’s kitchen, in particular the Italian designer’s patterned tiles, Renee Lotenero set off to make her own ceramic version. This seemingly banal, decorative element finds its way throughout Lotenero’s exhibition and even seems to take on an animus of its own. 


Lotenero photographs her handmade ceramic tiles, digitally rescales them, and prints them en masse in a variety of sizes. With these photographic building blocks, Lotenero creates sculptures, collages, and constructions that seem to bridge both categories. "A Mount of Tile Sitting in the Back Yard" is a collage of hundreds of miniature tile photographs with just the slightest additions of ink. Little more than a foot off the ground, "Remnants of a small building with a new fig path installed" is a tiny steel structure covered in tiles, as if the decorative elements sprang from the architecture itself. Surrounding the diminutive sculpture, Lotenero has laid photographs of the cross-section of a fig, the vegetal patterning mimicking the tile’s decorative arabesques. 


As the title suggests, "Back of a sculpture" is composed of hundreds of photographs of the back of one of Lotenero’s own constructions — captured at the point where the ceramic meets the steel armature. Fashioned to look like decorative tile, the square photographs grow out from the wall, sprouting tentacles of waving tile arms. At the assemblage’s base, Lotenero has scattered concrete rubble. A number of the photographs and sculptures assume the image of a ruin or a site of decay. However, Lotenero imbues this atrophy with a sense of life and organic growth. 

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