Lu Cong and Nate Ronniger are two contemporary artists making their mark in the world. Cong paints stunningly emotional portraits with dramatic lighting, while Ronniger creates imaginative theatrical sets that put a spin on the traditional notion of still life painting. Their paintings, while vastly different, represent some of the best in contemporary realism, a revolution that redefined modern art.
Originating in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the age of “contemporary realism” introduced a straightforward, authentic representation of images. The term is ambiguous, incorporating a diverse group of artistic talent. Little abstraction allows contemporary artists to create a uniquely strong visual impact. Despite the freedom this style endures, contemporary realists share a passion for the traditional approach to form and composition.
Like many other artists in this genre, Cong and Ronniger first started their promising careers with a foundation of abstract and impressionistic works. Notable evolutions show how Cong focused his efforts on perfecting his signature portraits, and Ronniger expressed his talents through intricate landscapes and everyday objects. With their professional training, each artist has masterfully developed the incredible techniques we see today. Cong has been named as one of “Twenty Artists to watch under the age of 31” for Southwest Art Magazine and one of five for “Today’s Masters Making Their Marks” by Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine.
Similarly, Ronniger, who started as a graphic designer and illustrator, has won numerous show awards. Most recently he was hand picked by John-Paul Philipe to assist with completing the interior artwork at Barney’s department store in Scottsdale, Arizona. Ronniger is quickly making a name for himself with his playful sets and signature design elements and was also named one of “Twenty Artists to watch under the age of 31” for Southwest Art.
Cong debuts a series of compelling, realistic portraits. His love of painting people originated as a young child. According to Cong, “Portraits have a spell over me; they speak to me in ways that I cannot recount. They bring me closer to fulfilling that indescribable craving.” This nostalgic feeling vaguely lingers throughout each piece in his collection.
Ronniger introduces intriguing contemporary design through still life depictions of toys, chairs, and elements of paper. He views himself as a director, striving to portray comedy and drama simultaneously throughout his paintings. Simplicity is his primary objective. Ronniger uses a spotlight to create shadows and contours, emphasizing his dramatic clean lines and powerful symmetrical patterns. His latest collection includes works inspired from the Design Interior Collection Vol. 5 showcasing mid-century modern chairs from prominent designers such as Arne Jacobson and Charles and Ray Eames.
We are excited to welcome Lu Cong for the first time to Scottsdale and thrilled to welcome back Nate Ronniger for his second season. In eager anticipation of the upcoming opening on April 1, 2010 we wanted to ask these remarkable artists a few intriguing questions. Here is what they offered:
BDG: Who is your personal mentor or hero?
CONG: Jay Z.
RONNIGER: Jacque Tati.
BDG: What is the one thing you can’t live without?
RONNIGER: The sun.
BDG: In three words, describe your work.
CONG: Not for words.
RONNIGER: Playful, composed, striking.
BDG: Aside from painting, what is your favorite pastime?
“Boldly Facing Life” Lu Cong and Nate Ronniger
April 1-15, 2010
Thursday April 1, 2010
Bonner David Galleries (map)
For more information about these artists or to obtain a full catalogue of the show please contact us at 480.941.8500 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org