•  Installation Shots From: Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
    Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
  •  Installation Shots From: Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
    Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
  •  Installation Shots From: Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
    Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
  •  Installation Shots From: Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
    Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
  •  Installation Shots From: Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
    Pangaea: New Art From Africa And Latin America
Saatchi Art
Saatchi Store
Current Exhibition

Renee So EXHIBITED AT THE SAATCHI GALLERY

Otto
Renee So
Otto

2008

Ceramic

29.5 x 23.2 x 21.5cm
Rafiq
Renee So
Rafiq

2009

Glazed ceramic

42 x 36 x 27 cm
So’s characters convey a quiet and poetic dignity, but are also humorous in their humble depictions. Rafiq, for example, with his patrician Romanesque tunic, is almost swallowed up by his bulbous hair. He becomes like a cartoon rendered in three dimensions, and to accentuate this, his features are ‘drawn’ or scratched on, not sculpted. So develops her portraits through a simultaneous process of sketching and sculpting, and the tension between flatness and form is important to her work. The portraits’ minimal style creates a challenge of how stories or narratives can be suggested through the barest amount of information.
Ezra
Renee So
Ezra

2009

Glazed ceramic

35.5 x 19 x 24 cm
So’s sculptures are defined by their process of making as much as by their fictional personas. Their scale is limited by what fits in her kiln, and though they look old, the slippery surface of the clay’s moulding gives them a slick modern finish. Ezra bears all the traces of So’s physical handling in his cut geometric layers and casual pock marks; his oversized moustache droops with the frozen weight of wet clay. By sharing her process with the viewer, So reveals her sculptures in a theatrical way, presenting their fantasy as our own willful suspension of belief and desire to participate in their makeshift make-believe.
Promenading
Renee So
Promenading

2010

Wool, tray, frame

185 x 120 cm
Man and Dog
Renee So
Man and Dog

2012

Wool, oak frame

125 x 125 x 10 cm
Otto & Max

Otto & Max

Renee So
Otto & Max

2008

Ceramic

31 x 27 x 23.5cm
Renee So’s sculptures draw from the traditions of Antiquity and historical portrait busts. Works such as Otto & Max were originally part of a larger group which So thought of as a tribe; however, as with people, her busts are unique characters and are meant to be considered as individuals. Otto & Max sit on a plain wooden plinth which, like their black and white heads, suggests a classical simplicity and order. This idea of aesthetic or stylistic purity is something that is valued throughout the history of portrait sculpture and So’s portraits evoke a reverence for uniformity and geometry: the same sized heads are like a template or body ideal, which then are ‘accessorized’ with idiosyncratic hairstyles and facial features.
Max
Renee So
Max

2008

Ceramic

31 x 27 x 23.5cm
Bellamy (side view)
Renee So
Bellamy (side view)

2008

Glazed ceramic

So’s portraits look like artefacts from a non-specific place or time; they might be from the distant past or the future. In inventing her characters she draws from a wide range of research including art and anthropological history, military portraits, and costuming. So’s sculptures are made from ceramic, a traditional media that connotes ‘craftsmanship’ or ‘antique’, but also visually replicates stone. In Bellamy, the cracks are an intentional result of the firing process, and make the figure look like a fragile archaeological find or museum relic.
Bellamy (front view)
Renee So
Bellamy (front view)

2008

Glazed ceramic

31 x 29 x 20 cm (plinth 120 x 30 x 25 cm)
Bellamy (back view)
Renee So
Bellamy (back view)

2008

Glazed ceramic







Other artists in
NEWSPEAK: BRITISH ART NOW

Caroline Achaintre    Tasha Amini    Hurvin Anderson    Maurizio Anzeri    Jonathan Baldock    Anna Barriball    Steve Bishop    Karla Black    Lynette Yiadom Boakye    Pablo Bronstein    Alan Brooks    Carla Busuttil    Nicholas Byrne    Gareth Cadwallader    Juliana Cerqueira Leite    Spartacus Chetwynd    Steven Claydon    Clarisse d'Arcimoles    William Daniels    Matthew Darbyshire    Graham Durward    Tim Ellis    Tom Ellis    Richard Evans    Tessa Farmer    Marcus Foster    Robert Fry    Ximena Garrido-Lecca    Jaime Gili    Nick Goss    Luke Gottelier    Kate Groobey    Anthea Hamilton    Anne Hardy    Gabriel Hartley    Nicholas Hatfull    Iain Hetherington    Alexander Hoda    Sigrid Holmwood    Systems House    James Howard    Graham Hudson    Des Hughes    Dean Hughes    Mustafa Hulusi    Paul Johnson    Edward Kay    Idris Khan    Scott King    Ansel Krut    Peter Linde Busk     littlewhitehead    Alastair MacKinven    Goshka Macuga    Ryan Mosley    Rupert Norfolk    Arif Ozakca    Mark Pearson    Dan Perfect    Peter Peri    Olivia Plender    Henrijs Preiss    Ged Quinn    Clunie Reid    Barry Reigate    Luke Rudolf    Maaike Schoorel    Daniel Silver    David Brian Smith    Renee So    Fergal Stapleton    Clare Stephenson    Caragh Thuring    Phoebe Unwin    Donald Urquhart    Jonathan Wateridge    John Wynne    Toby Ziegler

Renee So's BIOGRAPHY

Renee So
Born in 1974, Hong Kong
Lives and works in London



SOLO EXHIBITIONS


2011
Renee So, Hopkinson Cundy, Auckland, New Zealand

2010
Renee So, Uplands Gallery, Melbourne

2009
Renee So, Kate MacGarry, London

2008
Renee So, Uplands Gallery, Melbourne

2003
Close Knit II, Studio 12, Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces, Melbourne
Close Knit, Craft Victoria, Melbourne

2002
Simple Pleasures, Gallery 4A, Sydney
Flock Culture, Studio 12, Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces, Melbourne

2000
Inspirational Contents of Living, Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces, Melbourne
Insects (in collaboration with Nathan Gray), TCB art inc., Melbourne


GROUP EXHIBITIONS


2011
Group Show, Spazio Cabinet, Milan

2010
Keno Twins 4, Villa Merkel, Esslingen, Germany
Newspeak: British Art Now pt.2, Saatchi Gallery
Keno Twins 3, Galerie Susanne Zander, Cologne

2009
Jean-Luc Blanc: Opera Rock, CAPC, Musee d’art Contemporain, Bordeaux, France

2008
Swans Reflecting Elephants (Renee So, Varda Caivano, Rose Wylie), Kate MacGarry, London
Revolving Doors: an exhibition in memory of Blair Trethowan, Uplands Gallery, Melbourne
3am Eternal, Alexandre Pollazzon, London

2007
SV07, Studio Voltaire, London (selected by Polly Staple, Christabel Stewart, Stuart Comer)5
Neointegrity, Derek Eller Gallery, New York

2006
The Small Painting Show, Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita State University, Kansas
Satellite, Shanghai (curated by Richard Thomas)
Family Resemblance, Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne
The Schanck Show, Cape Schanck, Melbourne
Meeting Place, Keeping Place, The Arts Centre, Melbourne

2005
A Group Show, Kaliman Gallery, Sydney
A Re-Constructed World, Linden – St Kilda Centre for Contemporary Arts, Melbourne (curated by Jan Duffy)
A Short Ride in a Fast Machine 1985–2005, Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces, Melbourne
Echoes of Home, Museum of Brisbane, Brisbane, Cairns Regional Gallery, QLD; Orange Regional Gallery, NSW; Fremantle Arts Centre, WA; Geraldton Regional Art Gallery, WA; Ivan Dougherty Gallery, College of Fine Art, NSW; Goulburn Regional Art Gallery, NSW; RMIT Gallery, VIC (curated by Christine Clarke)

2004
The Infinite Fill Show, (curated by Cory Arcangel), Foxy Productions, New York
Xin Nian, Response Gallery, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Asian Traffic, Gallery 4A, Sydney (official Biennale of Sydney event), Esplanade, Singapore; Today Art Museum, Beijing; Duolun Art Museum, Shanghai; OCTA Contemporary Art Museum, Shenzhen; Hong Kong Arts Centre, Hong Kong

2003
Contemporary Collectors Benefit Auction, Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney
The Freedman Foundation Exhibition, Sir Hermann Black Gallery, University of Sydney
Calibre Art Project, Calibre, Sydney
We Don’t Charge For Looking, Block Gallery, Sydney

2002
Gertrude Studio Artists, Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces, Melbourne
Departures, BUS, Melbourne

2001
Gertrude Studio Artists, Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces, Melbourne
Yarns, Jewish Museum of Australia, Melbourne
Tougher than Art, First Floor, Melbourne
Sample, Kinki Gerlinki / Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne