- This event has passed.
Art in the Time of Empathy
October 3, 2020 - December 19, 2020
The Arthur Roger Gallery is pleased to present Art in the Time of Empathy, an exhibition of gallery and invited artists examining the year 2020 as a unique historical moment and a transformative time. The exhibition will be on view at Arthur Roger Gallery, located at 432 Julia Street, from October 3 until December 19. The exhibition will open on October 3rd in conjunction with Art Beyond Arts’ Sake.
Art in the Time of Empathy is the largest exhibition in the gallery’s history, featuring over 70 invited and represented artists. Playing off the iconic title of Gabriel García Márquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera, artists address the many aspects of quarantine, politics, social justice, science, and community in a time where physical distance has redefined these dialogues. A time capsule for our period, Art in the Time of Empathy is an exploration of the human side of this moment, an opportunity for a community to pause and reflect on the many perspectives of a shared experience.
The exhibition features artists who used this time of sheltering in place to re-examine their studio practice and to contemplate themes of separation, normalcy, politics, social justice, and a return to nature and to self. Demond Melancon confronts the devastation of COVID-19 and the price paid by frontline workers. Frahn Koerner, David Halliday, Jacqueline Bishop address the physical separation of social distancing and the complex emotions that follow. John Alexander and Ted Kincaid unpack the shocking, divisive, and hateful state of American politics. The renewed force of the Black Lives Matter movement demanded action from many artists. Whitfield Lovell, George Dureau, and Leonard Galmon present striking portraits of Black Americans, celebrating Black bodies that historically have been excluded or appropriated in Western art, while Douglas Bourgeois’ “Mistaken Identity” addresses the extreme police violence against Black people.
Some artists approach these complex issues with humor. Richard Baker’s series of bread-making cookbooks and still life paintings by David Bates and Amy Weiskopf consider the experience of quarantine and its associated activities. Douglas Bourgeois creates a fictional graduation yearbook, recalling memories and experiences sorely missed amidst strict new school protocols. Joseph Havel’s stack of translucent books and Jim Richard’s backyard scenes recall the solitude of open time. James Drake’s “You Owe Me Money” evokes the economic downfall, devastating unemployment, and financial difficulties of the pandemic.
Other artists focus on our community, its struggles, triumphs, and resilience. John Hartman’s portrait of Doreen Ketchens recalls a time when music and people filled the French Quarter, now uncomfortably quiet. Deborah Luster, An-My Lê, Meg Turner, and Robert Polidori present piercing photographs of the people and urban landscape of Louisiana. Robert Colescott and Robert Gordy remind us of past traumas and lessons learned in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and the devastation of the AIDS crisis. Dawn DeDeaux looks ahead towards a fascinating socially distanced future with her Space Clown series.