Renée Radell: Web of Circumstance

This beautifully laid out monograph is a classic examination of pioneering American social commentary painter, Renée Radell. Originally from Michigan and first recognized as an award winning watercolorist, Radell transitioned to oil while at Detroit Society of Arts & Crafts. The young mother of five reached mainstream New York art circles in the 1960s for her figurative interpretations of Americana family life and her powerful sociopolitical statements as the United States went to war and achieved super-power status.

In her essay, art critic Eleanor Heartney surveys Radell’s extensive oeuvre and again asks the question raised by Linda Nochlin in a now famous ARTnews article from 1971 “why have there been no great women artists?” Over a series of interviews with the artist, Heartney unearths complex themes that provide a glimpse into Radell’s singular visual interpretation of our collective Web of Circumstance.


Price: US$49.99

Pages: 220 with 200 full color photographs.

Dimensions: 11.5″ wide, 9.75″ height, 1.0″ depth (landscape).

Case: Hardback Wibalin with foil blocking on spine and debossed cover.

Binding: Section sewed in 12pp, separate ends, square and hollow back, H&T bands.

Paper: 157 gsm matte art.

Weight: 4 pounds.

Delivery: Priority USPS. Expedited and international rates upon request.

See What’s Inside

Excerpt of text by Eleanor Heartney

“Renée Radell exemplifies the triumph of art over circumstance. She is proof of Nochlin’s slyly unstated point: There are indeed great women artists. Radell’s unique synthesis of art history, philosophy, social observation and formal experimentation has yielded a body of work that will stand the test of time. Her lifelong dedication to the most profound questions of existence will continue to resonate for all who care about the human condition.”

Renée Radell

Renée Radell is a consummate colorist and figurative painter whose career spans more than 70 years. She entered the art world in the State of Michigan as an award winning watercolorist who moved to oil painting during her studies at the Detroit Society of Arts & Crafts, now the College for Creative Studies.


In the mid-1960s Radell emerged in the mainstream gallery scene of New York as a pioneering woman social commentary painter, inciting critical acclaim at home and in Europe. Her sociopolitical suggestions, deftly stated with signature brushstrokes and visceral impact, struck a chord among the intellectual avant-garde during a time of turbulent change, even when Pop and Minimalism were new darlings in the art world.


Sometimes satirical, sometimes humorous, often tragic, yet always intellectually piercing, Radell’s pictures convey an acute social consciousness and compassion, incorporating images of life’s journey, hope and hopelessness, conflict and regeneration on her chosen stage. They demonstrate remarkable vitality and are increasingly germane to today’s society.


In the early 1980s, Radell moved to New York City where she currently maintains a residence. Compared with earlier literal content, her work has become more subjective and allegorical through the use of myth and symbolism to represent the societal enigmas that she observes so keenly.


A figurative painter at core with broad encounters through decades of professorships in Michigan and New York and extensive overseas travels, Radell also applies brush and palette to portraits, landscapes and still life, ordaining each picture with its unique persona.  She is represented in personal and institutional art collections in North America and Europe, including the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Walter P. Chrysler Museum.


Full bio and pictorial galleries

Political Fertility Rite 1967 oil on Masonite 96 x 48 in.