The Arthur Roger Gallery is pleased to present Shipwrecks and the Atchafalaya, an exhibition of paintings and works on paper by Simon Gunning. The exhibition will be on view at Arthur Roger Gallery, located at 432 Julia Street, from October 6 – October 27, 2018. The gallery will host an opening reception with the artist in attendance, Saturday, October 6 from 6 – 9 pm in conjunction with Art for Art’s Sake.
Australian-born Simon Gunning has lived in New Orleans’ Bywater neighborhood for over 30 years. His appreciation for the local scenery – from streets to swamps – has never waned, as is evident in his renowned paintings of the Southern Louisiana landscape. Despite his veneration, his compositions are never sentimentalized. His edgy style of painting has been described as “an iconic personal statement about life, death, sorrow, and a love affair with an exotic land.” He has a startling ability to capture scenes at the most felicitous time of day, rendering the light and color that is so unique to the landscape.
This exhibition, the artist’s fifth with the gallery, includes recent works on canvas and paper. Simon was working tirelessly on the show painting shipwrecks that he saw in South Louisiana until he had a trip to a virgin cypress swamp that altered the show’s direction. Upon visiting a swap in Lake Verret Gunning instantly knew that he needed to capture the stunning scenery in his next show. Simon’s impressive ten-foot-long painting titled Two and a Half Hours with a Cottonmouth, is a swamp miracle. Simon said, “I can never really capture the full essence of a location with just a reference picture,” so Gunning spent two hours drawing the vista in the dawn light. It was only after he completed the second drawing in as many hours that a friend pointed out that a huge cottonmouth was resting less than one foot away from him behind the mini fridge that he was sitting on. The energy comes through in the artist’s work. Mystical swamp and ship scenes abound in this show.