Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Natalie Lanese has consistently enriched her artistic development with an extensive education, culminating in a Master of Fine Arts degree from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. She earned her Bachelor’s degree at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, and conducted post-graduate studies at Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Institute of Art. She is Associate Professor of Art and Gallery Director at Siena Heights University in Adrian, Michigan and resides in Toledo, Ohio.
Ms. Lanese’s work is recognized for its punchy color palette and layered patterns. The Village Voice described her collages as “enigmatic narratives heightened by keen color clashes and jazzy textures” when covering her exhibition at Jack the Pelican Presents in Brooklyn in 2007. She works primarily in collage, painting and installation. Ms. Lanese’s work has been seen most recently at the Akron Art Musuem, CWRU's Tinkham Veale University Center, and under the GVV Bridge overpass on Ontario Street in Cleveland. Past exhibitions include the Scope International Art Fair in Basel, Switzerland, and in East Hampton, New York, and exhibitions at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, MA and at SPACE Gallery in Portland, ME.
My work begins as an experiment with the possibilities of collage on a variety of surfaces or backgrounds. From building a believable domestic interior on flat areas of color and pattern, to transforming these patterns into geometric landscapes, the collaged elements create conceptual spaces and immediate psychological realities. Essential to the work is the scale relationship between the collaged and the painted elements; this relationship allows the work to confront ideas of image vs. reality, depth and depthlessness.
My more recent work abandons collage in the traditional sense of cutting and pasting and focuses on repeated hard-edged patterns with manipulated perspective lines. These elements, usually painted on a two-dimensional surface, have been central to my painting practice for several years. Historically, collage has served as a "sculptural" part of my process--pieces that I hold in my hands and apply to the painted surface. Recently I have begun to think about how objects, the space itself and even the viewers of the work, might lend themselves as collage in the overall image.