by Sylvie Contiguglia for Arte-Walk Following a quiet summer, Arthur Roger Gallery is awakening with a bang. Its latest show Art in the Time of Empathy features seventy artists represented by more than one hundred works of art including paintings, sculptures, photographs and site specific installations. A playful series of shoe-mask from Maxx Sizeler leads to a spacious space lined…
Published on Art E-Walk Buildings and their contents, an endless source of inspiration for artists, provide the theme for the works of three painters displayed in the Arts District New Orleans this month. Jim Richard, James Kennedy and Pierre Bergian respectively at Arthur Roger Gallery, Callan Contemporary and Octavia Art Gallery are expressing their creativity through their different style, from abstract to figurative. All the Way Home assembles twenty…
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’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.
Since the late 1970s, New Orleans artist Jim Richard has been making paintings, drawings, and collages in which art-stuffed modernist interiors melt into multihued graphic fields. Devoid of inhabitants, his signature claustrophobic spaces are visual essays on taste and influence, composed as if with maximum disorientation in mind.
The expressive mode of painting taken by Wayne Gonzales in Forest, the large-scale achromatic acrylic on canvas painting now at Arthur Roger Gallery, parallels the movement of matter and the painter/viewer in his characteristic economic and gestural strokes. As in his paintings of crowds, his marks beg not only the kinesthetic response of the viewer, but also a response in actual spatial depth. As the marks lay flat on the surface, they invite close inspection of their abstractness and simplicity, and distanced observation to marvel at the phenomenon of their gestalt, melding into legible representation.
IMPLICIT IN RICHARD’S painting is a revived perception of the decorative function of art. His pictures declare the power of decoration to concentrate sensuous experience and, thus, to grip the viewer. With a system of rhythms and carefully sited disjunctions — and, of course, his piquant sense of color, Richard makes delight unavoidable.
Jim Richard’s ninth exhibition at Arthur Roger Gallery brings together four of his former students—Cheryl Donegan, Amy Feldman, Wayne Gonzales, and Lisa Sanditz—to share the gallery space with him. It has the collegial feeling of a school group project, with the artists putting in their own individual contributions, but this is one where the teacher joins in too.
For most of his career, Jim Richard’s paintings amounted to “art about art,” only instead of art history, they suggested settings for short stories where the artworks themselves were the protagonists. These new works are similar but they also allude to the way digital technology now makes everything in the world seem more accessible yet somehow less real, as elusive as pixels on a computer screen.
Jim Richard’s “Make Yourself at Home,” on view at the New Orleans Museum of Art through February 24, 2013, remains one of the best shows of the year. A modernist journey through the colorful interiors of homes filled with a mix of high art, tchotchkes, and period furniture, Richard’s twelve-work exhibit showcases his deep knowledge of contemporary and historical art alongside refined technical skill, and pokes a little fun at modern art in the meantime.