The Julia Street gallery owner donated his art collection to NOMA, and the show says as much about Roger as the art he has collected.
“Pride of Place: The Making of Contemporary Art in New Orleans” an exhibition of works is on view at New Orleans Museum of Art. The exhibition is a narrative about space, identity, and a sense of belonging in New Orleans’ contemporary art scene over the course of the last four decades. The selection of works on display showcases renowned art collector and gallery owner Arthur Roger’s entire personal art collection which he has gifted to the Museum.
Arthur Roger likes people who live on the fringes, the areas that orbit dominant society. “It is where I’ve discovered the most, and it’s the place I’ve found most interesting,” he says. The pull of the unconventional led him to purchase an unusual home in New Orleans’s French Quarter and amass a stunning collection of provocative art. And once he’d filled the walls with remarkable pieces, he gave them all away, leaving the white walls empty. This story looks at the moment just before that happened, capturing a snapshot from a lifetime of collecting.
Over the years, Arthur Roger nurtured artists through his art gallery opened in 1978 and in doing so, helped shape and promote the art scene of his native city. Joining the list of benefactors, he recently gifted his sizable art collection accumulated over four decades to the New Orleans Museum of Art. The eighty-seven objects, including paintings, sculptures, videos, photographs, are on display this Summer for the exhibition Pride of Place: The Making of Contemporary Art in New Orleans, curated by Katie Pfohl, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at NOMA.
When Arthur Roger launched his gallery in 1978, there were only a handful of others focused on new art. The scene has expanded greatly since then, but Roger has more than kept abreast of the ever-changing art world through the years, as we see in this sprawling new exhibition of works from his personal collection, which he donated recently to the New Orleans Museum of Art.
[Arthur Roger’s] donation — paintings, sculpture and photography by local and national luminaries of modern art — comprises a new NOMA exhibit, “Pride of Place: The Making of Contemporary Art in New Orleans.” The exhibit opens Friday and runs through Sept. 3. In the exhibit’s 143-page catalog, museum Director Susan M. Taylor describes the gift as “transformational.” It “significantly expands” NOMA’s contemporary art holdings and “reaffirms the museum’s commitment to the work of local New Orleans artists,” she said.
On June 1, Arthur Roger’s personal collection of paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs and mixed media pieces will be taken off his walls, packed away and carted over to the New Orleans Museum of Art. He recently donated more than 80 pieces to the museum, including works by national and regional artists such as Luis Cruz Azaceta, Willie Birch, Douglas Bourgeois, Robert Colescott, George Dureau, Robert Gordy, Deborah Kass, Catherine Opie, Robert Polidori, Holton Rower and John Waters, among others.
AN APPRECIATION OF the semantic conundrums posed by the titles of Lesley Dill’s Beautiful Dirt: Ballgowns of Lightness & Dark and Deborah Kass’ feel good paintings for feel bad times can spice up one’s experience of the artists’ works collectively and individually.
Words are everywhere. They seemed to be taking over the art world not so long ago, even replacing images in paintings as theory-crazed critics predicted the “end of art.”
Art for Arts’ Sake 2014- A one-night festival of gallery openings to kick off the art season.