Nicole Charbonnet: Tell the Truth but Ride a Fast Horse

Exhibition Dates: December 4 – 31, 2004
Opening Reception: Saturday, December 4 from 6–8 pm
Location: 432 Julia Street, New Orleans, LA 70130
Hours: Monday – Saturday, 10am – 5pm
Contact Info: 504.522.1999;

The Arthur Roger Gallery is pleased to present “Tell the Truth but Ride a Fast Horse,” an exhibition of recent paintings by Nicole Charbonnet. The exhibition will be on view from December 4 – 31 in the center gallery at the Arthur Roger Gallery at 432 Julia Street. The gallery will host an opening reception on Saturday, December 4 from 6 to 8pm.

Nicole Charbonnet, Cowboys #10. 2004, acrylic and mixed media on canvas. 54 x 70 inches.

Nicole Charbonnet, Cowboys #10. 2004, acrylic and mixed media on canvas. 54 x 70 inches.

Nicole Charbonnet’s intricately layered mixed media paintings are constructed over a period of time and offer the viewer a glimpse into the artist’s process. The superimposition of texture, image, words, watery washes of paint, and veils of translucent fabric on paper create a visual threshold to be looked at as well as looked through. The artist employs imagery from popular culture to explore memory and recollection.

Through stereotypical images of our shared experience of America, Charbonnet examines our past and present perceptions of ourselves as well as others. “In Tell the Truth but Ride a Fast Horse,” Charbonnet continues this exploration utilizing iconography from Western movies. For the artist, the process of painting serves as a metaphor for recollection. According to Charbonnet, “The surfaces retain or reveal a ‘memory’ of preexisting stages or structures, resulting in palimpsests, as some images, colors, textures are obfuscated, while others remain visible, however shaped or shaded by previous or subsequent gestures or events.” In her compositions some layers are covered with dense texture or opaque color, while others are revealed partially or in their entirety, thus simulating the human process and experience of remembering.

Born in New Orleans, Nicole Charbonnet received her B.A. from the University of Virginia in 1988 and her M.F.A. from Boston University in 1991. In 1999 she received a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant.