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Take a Piece of America Home

Aug 17, 2007
The great American landscape is the inspiration for Renee Nemerov's paintings-the rich green West Virginia mountains with its waterfalls, the pristine beaches of Lake Michigan, the Southwest's brilliant blue skies and rugged rock formations, the lush California coastline and breathtaking Pacific ocean views, the winding Rio Grande-interpreted with vivid, exploding color and her own original styles in abstract or expressionist form.

Primarily an abstract and impressionist landscape painter, but also a skilled sculptor and portrait painter, Renee is noted for her use of imaginative concepts, intense, rich variegated colors and fluid lines used to convey the emotional essence of a subject.

She is the daughter of businessman turned artist David Nemerov, famous for his huge, wall-sized, floral oil paintings, the sister of controversial, avant garde photographer Diane Arbus, and of Howard Nemerov, one of the first Poet Laureates of the United States. She had the opportunity to study and learn from such great artists as the reknowned Mexican painter Rufino Tamayo, San Francisco expressionist Robert Friemark, Jean Liberte at the Art Students League, Camillo Egas at the New School, both in New York City, and the Swiss Impressionist, Hanseggar.

As a result of a two-man show of their artwork at the Palm Beach Institute, Renee and her late husband Roy Sparkia were commissioned by Laurence Wein, then one of the building's owners, to create the eight 5' wide x 7' high illuminated panels in the Empire State Building lobby. They depict the traditional Seven Wonders of the World, the great pyramids of Egypt, the Pharos (lighthouse) of Alexandria, the hanging gardens of Babylon, the temple of Diana, the statue of Zeus, the mausoleum at Halicarnassus and the Colossus of Rhodes. The eighth wonder is the Empire State Building, at that time the tallest building in the world. These huge, crystal resin and stained glass panels were installed in the Empire State Building in 1963 and are still there attracting millions of viewers today.

Renee is a prolific artist, painting daily and believes that art should be made readily available and affordable for everybody. Through the Internet, she is now able to sell her artwork directly to the public-worldwide-rather than in a bricks and mortar gallery with its elite audience and typical 100 percent mark-up.

She has had major shows in New York City; Palm Beach and Miami, Florida; Traverse City and Saginaw, Michigan; Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico; and Ventura, California. Her work was included in a U.S. State Department traveling show, which was part of the cultural exchange program with Russia. She is represented in the Lord Beaverbrook Museum in New Brunswick, Canada and the Nate Cummings Sara Lee collection in Chicago, among others, and her sculptures and paintings are internationally collected.

"I like to paint on deep gallery wrap canvas with painted sides," Renee says, "so that they seem almost three dimensional, and can be hung without a frame. I think it makes for a clean contemporary look.

I love strong bold color, and different challenging compositions, and I strive to use them to capture emotion and movement in their purest form, and to stretch the viewer's imagination into new areas of response. I am constantly surprised by the richness and variety of the American landscape with its dramatic vistas and feel I will never tire of painting them."
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