B.J. Robinson (14793)

George Dureau

George Dureau possessed a singular ability to render the beauty of the human figure in compositions inspired by allegorical scenes from great paintings and sculpture in Western art. He regarded himself as a “Classical-Romantic,” composing his subjects with control and clear intention but then painting with passion and abandon. In the 1970s, he began photographing his models – most male, often nude, some with physical disabilities. In 2012, he received critical acclaim in the New York Times following the first New York exhibition of his photography. Critic Roberta Smith described the photographs as “wonderfully immediate and alive,” sharing “an emotional realism and a sense of intimacy between artist and sitter of the kind that also enriches the portrait paintings of Alice Neel.”

George Valentine Dureau was born in 1930. He received a B.A. in Fine Arts from Louisiana State University in 1952 and briefly attended Tulane University where he studied architecture. In 1990, he was commissioned to paint The Parade Paused for Gallier Hall in New Orleans. In 1993, he and artist Ersy Schwartz were commissioned to design and oversee the fabrication and installation of the bronze and steel Gates at North Court at the New Orleans Museum of Art. In 1999, he designed the pediment sculptures for the Harrah’s Casino in New Orleans, as well as created the year’s official New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival poster depicting Professor Longhair. His art is included in numerous museum collections, including Le Musée de la Photographie in Paris, the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art and the Morris Museum of Art in Augusta, Georgia. George Dureau passed away in New Orleans in 2014.