Robert Colescott 2009

Exhibition Dates: October 3rd – November 14th, 2009
Opening Reception: Saturday, October 3rd, 6 – 9 pm in conjunction with Art for Art’s Sake
Location: Arthur Roger@434, 434 Julia Street, New Orleans, LA 70130
Gallery Hours: Monday – Saturday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Contact Info: 504.522.1999.

Arthur Roger@434 is pleased to present an exhibition of paintings and drawings by the late Robert Colescott. This selection of work is from the artist’s exhibition titled “Troubled Goods”. The artist passed away in June at his home in Tucson at the age of 83. The exhibition will be on view October 3rd – November 14th at the Arthur Roger@434 located at 434 Julia Street. The gallery will host an opening reception on Saturday, October 3rd from 6 to 9 pm in conjunction with “Art for Art’s Sake.” On November 10th, The Museum of Modern Art will host a memorial in honor of Robert Colescott from 10 am until noon.

WMD Remembering Sardanopalus, 2004-2006

The paintings and drawings in this exhibition are selected from “Troubled Goods: Robert Colescott, A Ten Year Survey (1997-2007),” which originated in 2007 at the Meridian Gallery, San Francisco. In these last paintings and drawings, the artist continued to explore contemporary social issues. Art historian Peter Selz writes, “Colescott painted figurative painting at a time when figuration was out of the mainstream. Colescott’s art, moreover was, and is, concerned with political issues as well as race and sex. His paint is luscious, his brushstroke is vigorous, his subjects are controversial, and there is an internal structure to his painting with a jazz-like rhythm.”

Exhibiting Colescott’s work in New Orleans is especially meaningful due to the artist’s many ties to the city through friends and relatives. Colescott’s parents were born and raised in New Orleans but moved to Oakland in 1919 to improve their children’s chances for a good education. Colescott frequently returned to New Orleans to visit and to exhibit regularly at the Arthur Roger Gallery.

Born in Oakland, CA in 1925, Robert Colescott was the first African American artist to represent the United States in a solo exhibition at the Venice Biennale in 1997 at age 71. His mother, a pianist, and his father, a jazz musician and railroad porter, were friends with Sergeant Johnson. Johnson and Diego Rivera became the first major influences in the artist’s life. Colescott, himself a musician, played drums and performed with local groups but after serving in the army in France during World War II. After the war, he returned to the San Francisco Bay Area where he received a BA and MA in art at UC Berkeley. He began to mature as an artist in 1949 when he lived in Paris for the year and studied with French cubist Fernand Léger. Colescott returned to Berkeley for a master’s and spent the next decade teaching in the Northwest. In 1964, a teaching residency took him to Cairo, where Egyptian art reiterated for him Léger’s ideas about narrative, but from outside the Western canon. After another stint in Paris, he returned in 1967 to the Bay Area in California and taught at the San Francisco Art Institute during the 1970s. From 1983 until 1995, Colescott was a professor of art at the University of Arizona, where in 1990 he was honored with the title of Regents’ Professor.

Robert Colescott”s work is in several major institutions, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

For additional information contact the gallery at 504.522.1999 or visit our Web site