The December Show at Arthur Roger Gallery features the work of Luis Cruz Azaceta, Nicole Charbonnet and an installation by Dale Chihuly.
It’s called A Loss for Words, and this two-person exhibition of recent work by Jacqueline Bishop and Douglas Bourgeois is startling in any number of ways. Both bring a mind-boggling deftness to the act of painting, with imagery that you might need a magnifying glass to fully appreciate.
by Dillon Mullan for Santa Fe New Mexican Erin Cone, a Santa Fe artist, received a suspicious message through her website sometime in 2019. “I was lucky enough to find one of your paintings by the name of stasis,” the message read. “It’s truly a wonderful piece but I was told it was a piece…
You don’t need to be an art buff to appreciate the New Orleans Museum of Art’s most recent exhibition: “Pride of Place: The Making of Contemporary Art in New Orleans.” Pride of Place celebrates art collector and gallery owner Arthur Roger’s personal collection that he 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.
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.
It’s a safe bet to say that the contemporary art scene in New Orleans would be a lot less interesting without Arthur Roger. For nearly 40 years, his gallery has been a focal point for introducing the city to major currents in the national and international art scene, as well as for launching and nurturing the careers of some of the most prominent New Orleans-based artists working today.
[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.
When painter Nicole Charbonnet acquired her Irish Channel studio — which serves both as her workspace and her home — it had already fallen prey to the insults of time and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In its rescue, she not only saved an old building, but set her sights on living and working completely off the grid.
IT CAN’T BE stated enough, that in a world increasingly dependent upon the Internet for information and interaction, we grow increasingly distanced from physical time and place. And rather than being more connected, we are ever increasingly disconnected. Which is perhaps in part why we are so ineffectual at dealing with the strife at hand. Stagnantly we stand, caught in the quandary of Bud and Mary Sue’s “Pleasantville.”
Initially, Nicole Charbonnet’s spectrally painted compositions with repeating patterns suggest the empty “zombie formalism” favored by Wall Street investors in recent years, but look again and microecosystems of words and images emerge from obscurity beneath painterly washes in works that utilize time like a tone or color.