Rena Leinberger

Born: Ludington, Michigan
Lives: Brooklyn/Kingston, New York


Images and building materials taken from the related processes of construction and entropy form the basis of Rena Leinberger’s work. The sites and landscapes created by these removals and rebuildings are ordinary, ubiquitous, yet socially charged spaces.

She dislocates objects, structures and images of these environments and rebuilds them with shifts in materials determined through a reciprocal logic. Ordinary construction materials are allowed to stand in for elements of the image or other materials and objects. The substitutions are aesthetically slight – it looks about like what it is – and flimsier than the original. The reality they begin to project are simulations of the idea of reality, and often the simulations are also duplicated. The constructed idea, or abstracted constructed idea, is a confounding experience that produces an inquiry into notions of material failure, artifice, collapse, and the collapse of ideologies that accompany our architectures.


Rena Leinberger's work has been exhibited in solo shows at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Gallery 400 at University of Illinois of Chicago, Zg Gallery, the Evanston Art Center and 1R Gallery; she has been included in group exhibitions at the Queens Museum of Art, Bronx Museum of the Arts and CUE Art Foundation in New York; the Urban Institute of Contemporary Art in Grand Rapids, the City of San Antonio International Center, among others. She has been selected for several awards, including a fellowship in the Bronx Museum's AIM Program, a grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation, and a sponsored residency at the International Studio and Curatorial Program (ISCP) in New York.

She received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her work has been reviewed in publications including Sculpture Magazine, FiberArts, Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Reader, Bridge Magazine, mouthtomouth and the Brooklyn Rail.


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  • MFA, emphasis: sculpture
    School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

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