Nicole Charbonnet: Pictures of Nothing

Exhibition Dates: May 1–June 19, 2021
Opening Reception: Saturday, May 1 from 12–7 pm
Gallery Location: 434 Julia Street, New Orleans, LA 70130
Hours: Tuesday–Saturday, 10 AM–5 PM
Contact Info: 504.522.1999;

The Arthur Roger Gallery is pleased to present Pictures of Nothing, an exhibition of paintings by Nicole Charbonnet. The exhibition will be on view at Arthur Roger@434, located at 434 Julia Street, from January 5–February 23, 2019. The gallery will host an opening reception with the artist in attendance, Saturday, January 5 from 6-8 pm.

The title Pictures of Nothing is borrowed from a Kirk Vomedoe lecture where he states that abstract art, just like representational painting, is a reflection of the human thought process and our progressive political structures. In this series, Nicole Charbonnet borrows gestures from artists that came before her and combines them with wallpaper patterns and industrial design. By combining the inspiration of others the artist is sparking a conversation with the past. The imagery of our collective consciousness serves as a common language to examine the past and current social and political issues. This process illuminates a past that is always present and, hopefully, inspires new interpretations that function as starting points in themselves.

The distressed works are constructed using an additive and subtractive process. Layers of collage – literal debris from the artist’s life including letters, receipts, books, and fabric – are built up and manipulated with paint, modeling paste, marble dust, and plaster. The compositions, which include superimposed words, textures, and images, are repeatedly sanded, scraped, carved, and repainted. They retain a sort of palimpsestic record of preexisting stages and become metaphors for the phenomena of recollection. In Austerlitz, W.G. Sebald, wrote, “Our concern with history…is a concern with preformed images already imprinted on our brains, images at which we keep staring while the truth lies elsewhere, away from it all.”

Born in New Orleans, Nicole Charbonnet received her B.A. from the University of Virginia and her M.F.A. from Boston University. She also studied in France at the Academic Goetz in Paris and the Cleveland Institute of Art’s school in Lacoste. She has exhibited nationally and internationally and received numerous honors and awards including grants from the Pollock-Krasner, Elizabeth Greenshields, and Art Matters Foundations. 

For more information please contact the Arthur Roger Gallery at 504.522.1999 or visit our website at