What do the rise and fall of empires have to do with Las Vegas? Probably not much except that both are marked by glamorous and grandiose symbolism. History is a roll of the dice, and somebody always loses. Empires were often fueled by visions of vast wealth, yet they eventually crumbled. Stephen Paul Day’s Blame It On Vegas exhibition actually focuses far more on European history than it does on Nevada’s Sin City, which is mostly represented here by his oversized paintings of tacky souvenir matchbooks. By contrast, his sculptures often feature mini-renditions of major figures in European history.
The Lauren Rogers Museum of Art recently acquired the Dale Chihuly Aventurine Green Chandelier with Copper Leaf.
Smart, sure and silky smooth, Gordy’s acrylic canvases from the 1970s and 1980s remain a high water mark in New Orleans art. Gordy was one of those painter’s painter; his every work is a lesson in color choice, value modulation and economical design. After all these years, I imagined I’d seen all of Gordy’s mid-career works, but the shaped canvas waterfall featured on the gallery website was a revelation
With John T. Scott’s preferred jazz tunes playing in the background, the Louisiana Art and Science Museum downtown Baton Rouge invites the visitor to look at the artist and his colleagues’ works during the exhibition Rhythm and Improvisation: John T. Scott and his Enduring Legacy.
Currently at the Arthur Roger Gallery in New Orleans, two Lafayette, LA artists who bring pattern to the fore in their own works are exhibiting: Stephanie Patton and Troy Dugas. Within both bodies of work, the two artists begin with a simple premise, a minimum of materials, and a highly repetitive process. However, their finalized works speak to the complexity, beauty and meaning that can unfold from such humble and rudimentary origins.
In the art world, some people wonder if this is the worst or the best of times. Neither of the leading art capitals, New York and London, have produced any truly exciting new art or artists in ages, but the silver lining is that tedious trends like postmodernism no longer rule, and vital regional art scenes like New Orleans and Los Angeles have never been more highly regarded. This quiet revolution that transcends the prevailing “isms” is exemplified in Acadiana-based Troy Dugas’ large cut-paper collages.
Stephanie Patton’s Private Practice show continues her exploration of psychic and physical healing in padded white vinyl wall hangings, fanciful soft sculptures that evoke the convolutions of the brain or even padded cells — or maybe what might have happened had a bedding company hired Salvador Dali as a designer.
Meant to instruct in the art of attentiveness, a mandala is a visual aid used in Hindu and Buddhist meditation. In classical form, the design contains four “gates” that guard a central circle. An honest rhetorical question then: do make-your-own-mandala websites and Urban Outfitters’ mandala bedspreads undermine the significance of this mystical emblem? This isn’t to scoff at the mandala’s new pop-Zen identity, but to witness the mandala moment while trends, and the technologies that are their silent backdrop, become increasingly antithetical to its symbolism and utility is bizarre.
“Jesús Moroles: 30 Years of Sculpture” Exhibit at the Nave Museum in Victoria, Texas – March 21st – May 5th.
“Standing Vase with Five Flowers” by James Surls on Poydras Street near St. Charles Avenue. The Texas sculpture star’s surrealistic still-life design fits beautifully on the narrow Poydras Street median. Notice that Surls has provided each copper-green flower petal with an eye to watch the traffic crawl by. “Standing Vase with Five Flowers” is a whimsical companion for Surls’ somewhat more sinister sculpture “Me Life, Diamond and Flower,” a few blocks uptown on Camp Street outside of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art.