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 has donated 80 works of art from his personal collection to the New Orleans Museum of Art. This stunning gift to the community is made even more important by the breadth of the backgrounds of the artists whose works he has shown and represented at his gallery, Arthur Roger Gallery. He was a pioneer in showing contemporary art by local artists, women artists, and African American artists when other galleries had not begun showing any of these.
Dozens of pairs of scavenged baby shoes line the shelves in Jacqueline Bishop’s New Orleans studio. Collected by the artist from the streets of cities in America and of third-world countries, each pair of shoes serves as a tiny canvas, upon which the artist has painted exquisite portraits of flora and fauna—orchids, honeyeaters—that have vanished from their native range as the tide of human civilization rolls on.
Luis Cruz Azaceta’s Caught, 1993, is among the show’s most powerful works. Azaceta has been one of the artists to most effectively interpret the immigrant´s drama. Notions of abandonment, violence, and renunciation are constants in his work.
The New Orleans Museum of Art is about to begin a John Waters film festival to celebrate a gift of photographs and a sculpture by the movie maker – part of a much larger gift from gallery owner Arthur Roger.
“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.
ARTISTS ARE ALWAYS willing to share the bounty of the view in ways that forever reinforce and redirect our forever-wandering gaze, thus narrowing the passage of our distraction. Perhaps in an effort to jar us into looking more closely at the aftermath of progress, Canadian Edward Burtynsky presents a series of color photographs collectively titled “Intentional Landscapes” at Arthur Roger Gallery that defy orientation and require detailed titles to let us know just where and what we are looking at in the picture window images.