Elsa Rensaa (b. 1944, Norway) is an artist living and working in New York City. Rensaa grew up in an intellectual and creative family. Her parents moved from Norway to Canada in the 1920s, and would return to their homeland the following decade, during the Depression. Rensaa’s mother died when she was five years old, and her father relocated the family to Edmonton, Canada after the second World War. An engineer who made significant innovations in the use of prefabricated concrete, he helped build major public projects there. Her siblings, an older sister and brother, were accomplished in the fields of medicine and engineering, and Rensaa, along with her sister, became highly skilled in technical crafts like ceramics, knitting, and sewing. Rensaa went on to attend the Alberta College of Art and Design (today the Alberta University of Arts) in Calgary where she met her future husband, Clayton Patterson, and in 1976 the pair enrolled in Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. In 1979, they emigrated to Manhattan, where they have lived ever since. The gallery first exhibited Rensaa’s work in the group exhibition, Breakthrough in 2023.
James Fuentes would like to thank Clayton Patterson and Gryphon Rue for their collaboration and care for Rensaa’s oeuvre; and Christopher Y. Lew for introducing us to her extraordinary work. Special thanks to Theodore Liouliakis.