Simon Gunning: The River and the City

Exhibition Dates: October 3 – October 31, 2015
Opening Reception: Saturday, October 3 from 6–9 pm, in conjunction with Art for Arts’ Sake
Gallery Location: 432 Julia Street, New Orleans, LA 70130
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 10am – 5pm
Contact Info: 504.522.1999;

The Arthur Roger Gallery is pleased to present The River and the City, 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 3 – October 31, 2015. The gallery will host an opening reception with the artist in attendance, Saturday, October 3 from 6-9 pm in conjunction with Art for Arts’ Sake.

The Big Bend, 2014-15 | Oil on canvas | 60 x 144 inches

The Big Bend, 2014-15 | Oil on canvas | 60 x 144 inches

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 fourth with the gallery, includes recent works on canvas and paper. The intricate compositions of the medium- to large-scale paintings reveal familiar scenes – ships lined up in the winding Mississippi river with its lush green borders flecked with buildings; industrial cargo lifts and cranes dotted with spotlights reflecting in the placid water; dogs and cats frolicking in streets lined with shotgun homes and jutting stoops; vendors selling fresh produce from over-filled trucks. Thirty Years in the Attic, a large-scale work of pen and sepia ink spanning five sheets of paper, commemorates the view from the artist’s old attic studio. It is an intricately detailed rendition of the New Orleans skyline as seen from the Bywater – densely packed rooftops crossed with draping electrical wires and birds swooping below dense cloud formations. In the distance, the top of a docked cruise ship is visible, as well as the top of the World Trade Center and other downtown landmarks. Other works on paper include the Ships Off Algiers series. Four boats in a line are rendered in dense black ink, each work accented in a bold wash of color – Ultramarine blue, red, yellow.

Simon Gunning was born in Sydney, Australia in 1956. He studied painting and drawing from 1976-1978 at the National Gallery School of Art and the Victorian College of Art in Melbourne, Australia. In 1999, he was awarded a Visual Artist Fellowship by the Louisiana Division of the Arts. His work is included in many public and private collections including the New Orleans Museum of Art; Percent for Art Collection at Louis Armstrong International Airport and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, all in New Orleans; as well as in private and corporate collections in Paris, London, Los Angeles, and Australia. He also has participated in a number of blue-chip juried shows, including, among others, the New Orleans Museum of Art’s 2001 New Orleans Triennial and in 2000 the Washington, D.C.-based International Development Bank Cultural Center’s show New Orleans: A Creative Odyssey.