Lemonade Stand - Adam Adelson, Adelson Galleries

    Upon arriving at the artist’s home in a quiet cul-de-sac in Draper, Utah, I saw his neighbor’s young children selling lemonade.  I had not witnessed any other cars traversing the street and there appeared to be no foot traffic.  Before entering the home to meet Jim Rennert for the first time, the kids solicited me to buy one of their refreshments, and I assured them I would be back after my highly anticipated visit.  They smiled and Jim opened the door.  Two hours later, after an eye-opening introduction to Rennert’s studio, the kids were still there and excited to see me return.  I couldn’t imagine that they had encountered many other customers, but there they were - blissfuly ready to make a sale!  I could relate to these kids, and sometimes have trouble distinguishing any variance between their chosen profession and my own as an art dealer.  The challenges and rewards of most businesses are the same, and the work of Jim Rennert perfectly incapsulates those phenomena, which are, more broadly, reflections of existence in contemporary society.

    I first encountered the sculpture of Jim Rennert in 2010 (?) at the Meyer Gallery, near the top of the steep Main street in Park City, Utah.  I was inspired by the artist’s imagination in representing complex idiosyncrasies in three dimensions by using the least amount of information necessary.  Each forged in a rugged medium - bronze - that solidified the concept physically and metaphysically.  Although I was still in school at the time and on vacation, I felt particularly connected with the works.  Being uncertain about my future, I could easily relate to the work “Making Headway” (Fig. ?).  The image of a small person tugging a vessel that was exponentially larger than him had some resonance; however, the title implied an optimism. I felt a monumental task was ahead of me - graduating college then diving into the unknown, yet the choice of my attitude towards my future was optional.  Moreover, I noticed the subjects of the sculpture flirted with uncertainty in such a way that encouraged the viewer to root for the protagonist, and summoned a sense of resilience towards our common struggles.

A few years later, I came across Rennert’s work in Nantucket, Massachusetts at Cavalier Galleries.  I immediately connected with  “Rat Race” - a man in a suit on a hamster wheel.  Even though I didn’t wear a suit to work, I related to the feeling of running in circles, despite my best intentions.  According to Jim, when he first decided to show his artwork, he started at the bottom of Main street in Park City with one of his 50 pound bronze sculptures and worked his way up until he found a gallery that was willing to show the piece.  He jokes that if he were to do it again, he would start at the top of the hill and walk down.  His sense of humor about his experiences, his successes and failures, exemplifies the attitude of his sculptures.  They depict real-world tribulations with a levity that encourages the viewer to smile, rather than get caught up in the rat race.

Today, it has been five years since I opened my gallery in Boston, and I have the privilege of representing Jim Rennert, becoming one of many Fine Art galleries across North America to exhibit his sculpture.  Now that I understand the intricacies of owning a business, even though it’s my passion, I understand more completely the necessity of “Juggling” (Fig. ?) and “Walking The Tight Rope” (Fig. ?).   Living with these works in my office, and watching visitors smile as they interact with them in-the-round, brings these principles to life.  Due to the simplicity of the figures, which lack facial features or other identifying characteristics, one can easily see themselves in the three-dimensional works.  For some, the diorama is a maquette of a significant moment in their life, which defines their current success.  For me, the works distill timeless messages into simple yet universally translatable forms that speak to the human condition.

Since the Lascaux Cave paintings in France 40,000 years ago, artists have depicted men at work.  The trend continued from Egyptian hieroglyphics throughout Western Art.  The methods and mediums are as varied as the cultures that created them.  Ultimately, most of the great artists of history have acted as record keepers.  The 19th century french poet, Charles Baudelaire, called it flåneur - a term used to identify an observer of modern urban life.  Rennert’s experience in the business world combined with his natural talent and drive to create these simple, cleverly-rendered forms qualifies him as a flåneur sculptor in the 21st century.  Rennert found his own language to bring together feelings and associations with work-life that unify all of us, from CEOs to young lemonade stand entrepreneurs.

Adam Adelson
Director, Adelson Galleries