LECTURE TONIGHT at NOMA – Dawn DeDeaux: Reflections of Turbulence: The Effect of Disaster on Art

Water Markers by Dawn DeDeaux at the New Orleans Museum of Art

Water Markers by Dawn DeDeaux at the New Orleans Museum of Art

Lecture at the New Orleans Museum of Art
Friday, July 10, 2015 at 7pm

Artist and writer Dawn DeDeaux’s NOMA lecture Reflections on Turbulence: The Effect of Disaster on Art will consider the history of disasters and the corresponding impact found throughout the history of art. DeDeaux will offer a few examples such as the Great War’s influence on the emergence of abstractionism and minimalism; the impact of diseases – such as the Plagues – that impacted the art of the middle ages and the mark of AIDS on late-20th century art; and that of environmental disasters – such as Pompeii’s Mount Vesuvius eruption, Japan’s tsunamis – as depicted by late-Edo artist Kokusai in “The Great Wave of Kanagawa,” and the impact that Hurricane Katrina, the BP Gulf Oil Spill and the vanishing Louisiana coastline have had personally on DeDeaux’s own work of the past decade (including the Water Marker series featured in NOMA’s current exhibition, 10 Years Gone).

“At its core,” says DeDeaux, “throughout the ages art has captured and defined our cultural memory. It is created to memorialize life and loss and the paradox of mankind’s mysterious, unlikely existence. Art is our collective love never destroyed by death. It is found in the residue of our rituals, paintings and sculptures…within our temples, caves and galleries…art stands as WITNESS.”

DeDeaux has merged art with new technologies for decades to broaden art, audience and community engagement. Early works from the 1970s were mobile in concept to reach underserved communities, while mid-career large-scale installations focused on race, gender and class divides. Following Hurricane Katrina and the BP Oil Spill, DeDeaux work of the past decade takes aim at environmental issues and mankind’s projected future challenges.

Recent exhibitions include a 20,000-square-foot multimedia installation titled, The Goddess Fortuna and Her Dunces in an Effort to Make Sense of It All – a critically acclaimed venue for the Prospect.2 Biennial staged in the Historic New Orleans Collection’s Brulatour Mansion; and the touring MotherShip Series based on Stephen Hawking’s projection that humans have 100 years left – not to save earth but to leave her.

Works by DeDeaux have been exhibited nationwide at institutions that include New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art; Armand Hammer Museum of Los Angeles; Baltimore’s Contemporary Museum; the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art in Connecticut; Chicago’s Peace Museum; Seattle Center on Contemporary Art; Dallas McKinney Contemporary Art Center; Delfina Studio Trust of London; Thread Waxing Space of New York; Canadian Film Society / PleasureDome in Toronto; the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin TX; and Ballroom Marfa, TX. Her work has been exhibited at the New Orleans Museum of Art on numerous occasions and is part of NOMA’s permanent collection.

DeDeaux is an honorary member of Tau Sigma Delta and exhibited winner of Montage 93 International Competition for work best merging art and technology. She is a 1997 Rome Prize recipient as Knight Foundation Visiting Southern Artist at the American Academy in Rome and was among the eight artists selected to represent the best of Southern Contemporary Art by the 1996 Olympics. She is a 2013 Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Artist in Residence and 2014-15 Artist in Residence at the Tulane Center for Bioenvironmental Research. DeDeaux was recently honored as the Prospect Biennial 2014 Alumni of the Year and is the winner of the 1976 Demolition Derby in the Louisiana Superdome and the only female in a field of 35 drivers.

DeDeaux is represented by Arthur Roger Gallery in New Orleans.