Inspired by the African Diaspora, history, current world events, as well as everyday life in her DC neighborhood, Renée Stout creates in a variety of media, including painting, drawing, sculpture, photography and installation.
Stout grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and received her B.F.A. from Carnegie-Mellon University in 1980 where she chose to focus on painting. However, immediately after moving to Washington, D.C. in 1985, she began to explore the spiritual and cultural roots of her African American heritage through her increasingly sculptural works, which found their early inspiration in the aesthetics and philosophy of Kongo ritual objects. These works attracted the attention of museum curators across the United States and would lead to her becoming the first American artist to have a solo exhibition in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art. She has been the recipient of awards from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, the Joan Mitchell Foundation, the Bader Fund, the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, the Gottleib Foundation and Anonymous Was A Woman. She was also the recipient of the Driskell Prize, awarded by the High Museum of Art and the Sondheim Award from the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts. Stout’s work can be found in many museum and private collections, nationally and internationally, including the Smithsonian’s new National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC.