Sunday, June 27, 2010


This Summer, the NOMA presents 40 artists with two characteristics in common, they are women and from Louisiana. The works cover the period from 1965 till 2010. The two rooms dedicated to this exhibition appear cramped, filled with sculptures and paintings.
There is art for every taste, Surrealist, Realist, Abstract... from known and not so well known artists.

The exhibit is interesting because of its diversity, which also makes it difficult to absorb.

Among all the artists, I noticed the work from Jesselyn Benson Zurik (1916), "the Madonna of the Chair", 1980. It is an interesting minimalist sculpture but it is already a late work for the Minimalist movement.

Another original work from Ida Kohlmeyer retains the attention. "Mythic Throne", 1986, combines painting and sculpture. One can find a flavor of New Orleans but also an early combination of high and low art which made Takashi Murakami well known in the 90s till the present.

Rayne Bedsole is represented by a collage of a silhouette againts a dark background. Her works make me dream. I especially like her boats, symbols of voyages, including the ultimate voyage. Her use of symbolism blends the Mythology of different cultures to create works telling the universal story of Mankind.

One of the limitations of such exhibition is that it presents a very narrow window of some artists career. For example, Lynda Benglis, a prolific artist, who expressed herself with strong messages to fight for women's representation, deserves a better display than one sculpture.

Of course, one of Lin Emery 's kinetic sculpture "River Tree" was at the center of the room. Her metal sculptures, with nature as the subject, are well-known in New Orleans.

Even with some informations about the artists printed next to the works, this exhibition stays superficial. Using a musical term, the works are too discordant to be appreciated in such closeness. One can ask the goal of the curator: to show a great number of women artists in Louisiana? Unfortunately, it just resembles another end of the year College or art school exhibition.

photographs by the author

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