[Arthur] Roger’s personal collection of more than eighty paintings, photographs, and sculptures reflects the gallery’s storied forty-year history as well as Roger’s skill and sophistication as an art collector. Bringing together artworks Roger has collected from the 1970s through today, Pride of Place unfolds as an evolving narrative about place, identity, and belonging in New Orleans’ contemporary art scene over the course of the last four decades.
I CLEARLY REMEMBER walking through Dawn DeDeaux’s installation MotherShip III: The Station near the intersection of Elysian Fields and St. Claude Avenues. It was close to the end of the biennial (as it was structured then) in the late afternoon, overcast, with temperatures in that New Orleanian limbo area between warmth and chill.
On the Brink seems an unusual title for a geometric abstract painting show. The crisp geometry of traditional art deco, op art or minimalist design, like the sleek lines of modern architecture and furniture, all epitomize a kind of optimistic rationalism, but Luis Cruz Azaceta was forever marked by the chaos that characterized the Cuban revolution and his life as a youthful refugee.
February 2017 Installation of Gene Koss’ Sculpture Wheel at the Ogden / Barnes Residence in New Orleans, Louisiana.
The work in DeDeaux’s I’ve Seen the Future and It Was Yesterday excavates a sense of industrial utopianism—that ominous diving suit, for example, or is it a space suit?—which is both ironic and real. DeDeaux captures that sense with images of those nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century structures made when it seemed like the great works of mankind were all signs of progress and would last forever.
The main poster, “Funk Foundation” is by artist Francis X. Pavy. He also created the poster depicting The Neville Brothers in 1997 and Jerry Lee Lewis in 2007. Art Neville is also a founding member of The Meters, the legendary band formed a decade before The Neville Brothers. In addition to Art Neville, Pavy’s work depicts the original 1966 Meters: George Porter, Jr. (bass), Joseph “Zigaboo” Modeliste (drums) and Leo Nocentelli (guitar). The legendary band will reunite again to close out the 2017 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival on May 7.
Luis Cruz Azaceta: No Exit is the first substantial overview of the work of the Cuban-American artist Luis Cruz Azaceta (born 1942). Azaceta’s childhood memories in Cuba (where he remained until he was 18 years old) mix with his first professional experiences in New York City (where he studied at the School of Visual Arts and where he lived for three decades) and those of his period of professional maturity in New Orleans.
Thumbs up for the Mothership features individual works as well as a collaborative installation by New Orleans conceptual artist Dawn DeDeaux and Alabamian self-taught sculptor and musician Lonnie Holley. Deeply influenced by their southern roots, both artists mine the landscapes around them for found objects (a nod to Rauschenberg’s “combines”) and engage in dialogues around issues of ecology and social justice.
The Birmingham Federal Reserve, one of downtown Birmingham’s most historic buildings, is nearly complete with its $20 million renovation and now has a modern sculpture to mark its new life – “Spire,” from New Orleans artist Lin Emery.
Luis Cruz Azaceta, an artist who fled Cuba at age 18, shortly after Fidel Castro came to power, is a fitting inaugural exhibition for Miami’s new American Museum of the Cuban Diaspora.