Last April, one month before she died at the age of 96, the state of Louisiana designated its native daughter, sculptor Clyde Connell, a “legend.” According to the program notes for the Eighth Annual Louisiana Legends Award Banquet, “The person she is, the objects she creates, the moral beliefs she shares and the land she lives on integrate into one common strong impact on the individual seeing her work or visiting with her in her studio.”
Robert Colescott at Crown Point Press by Kathan Brown Robert Colescott is standing in the Crown Point Press studio in front of an almost-finished ambitious four-panel etching, answering questions from a small group of visitors. “It’s really about our sex life,” he confides. “Sex and race, those are my raw materials. That’s why they’re in…
Now mounted in a sumptuous exhibition at the University of Arizona Museum of Art, “Robert Colescott: Recent Paintings” first went up at the Venice Biennale a year and a half ago. The work of UA professor emeritus Colescott, these extravagantly colored, politically charged narrative paintings were the U.S. entry in the 1997 international art fair. Colescott was the first American painter since Jasper Johns in 1988 to be thus honored, and the first ever African-American artist to represent the U.S. with a solo show.
For close to 10 years now, James Barsness has been making a name for himself as a creator of highly detailed, unusually complex and often frankly sexual art. His often tongue-in-cheek portrayals of physical appetite, merged with a masterful appreciation of materials, which here included ballpoint pen and acrylic on paper collaged onto canvas, make him an artist of accomplished idiosyncrasy.
Anything goes in today’s art world – and frequently the first thing to go are the distinctions between painting, sculpture, architecture and other traditional disciplines. The resulting cross-breeds are tagged with the vague label of “installation art”, and encompass works whose only shared purpose is the attempt to create a total, theatrical environment from the sanitized spaces of the contemporary gallery.
To fix someone in memory has always been the purpose of portraiture. But how does portraiture figure in a culture that likes its images fast, cheap and disposable, as ours does?
Nature is a master of multiples, manifesting her prowess with seemingly endless rounds of encore performances. A tree’s bounty of leaves, flowers and fruits not only conveys a sense of well being, but ensures future survival.
LOUISIANA’S PENCHANT FOR easy money and good times trickles down to the melodrama of its citizenry in Francis Pavy’s metal cutout images at Arthur Roger Gallery. These paintings deftly illustrate the ever-increasing urban- and suburbanization of Acadiana.
Clyde Connell, who became a full-time artist only in her 60’s and who was known for totemic sculptures, imposing wall reliefs and runelike drawings, died on May 2 in a hospital in Shreveport, La. She was 97 and lived in Lake Bastineau in northwestern Louisiana.
To be coarse, today’s souvenirs suck. Nothing you get anymore as a memento from a vacation or of some event is imbued with any significance or feeling. What was the last souvenir you bought that you will keep a lifetime?