Tuesday, September 10, 2013

News from Julia and more in New Orleans

A month after a wild and successful white linen night, a subdued ambiance fills the Art District and the visitors can have a closer look at the art this Saturday night.
What is new? Octavia Art Gallery moved from Uptown to a better space and location on Julia in a recently renovated building. The gallery's mission stays unchanged, featuring a mixture of local, national and international artists and offering a great exposure to local artists while mixing their works with those of heavyweights like Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg or Keith Haring.
For the new season, the show titled Home gathers a diverse group of artists, each represented by one characteristic work. Ron Bechet with a charcoal on paper renders the wild and mysterious spirit of nature, Regina Scully's painting, the fantastic dimension of urban landscapes. Meanwhile a kitschy piece from Raashad Newsome, a native New Orleans artist now living in New York, reminds us of his dazzling works spread in the New Orleans Museum of Art for a Summer long exhibition. All the artists have a connection to New Orleans or its surroundings, which means to its unique culture, including Lynda Benglis, now an internationally famous artist, born in Lake Charles, LA. Keith Sonnier from Mamou, is given a prominent place with his light sculpture Longhorn Study, 2006  above the reception area.  The space allows the display of a great number of works without feeling crowded and one will find Bayou Dawn, 2013, a study in colors and lines from Brian Guidry, an "American crocodile" from Elizabeth Shannon, dolls from Rukiya Brown, a colorful second line from Keith Duncan or photographs on silk from Michel Varisco and more. The new gallery on the block is promising.

Jonathan Ferrara Gallery is holding its 17th No Dead Artists national juried exhibition and the variety of works will be a challenge for the jurors. This is another story... or blog.

The Saint Claude Art District in East New Orleans is busy with Antenna Gallery  in a new building just two blocks from The Front. Featuring an outstanding exhibition Void Loop well commented in the blog New Orleans Art Insider. Its venture into sound art and the subject of new technologies and art makes for a very relevant show.
At the Front, Jumper from Alex Podesta is the antithesis to the Antenna's exhibition. An odd persona, experimenting with basic supplies, a chord, scotch tape and a bouquet of red umbrellas, attempts to fly. Of course his dream goes wrong and he is sitting powerless and lonely on the cold dark floor next to his ridicule helmet decorated with two bunny ears. Still, he is a hero, he has the courage to dream... and to fail, a modern Icarus,

As of today, Jumper is back in his crate and the St Claude galleries are getting ready for their next shows opening Saturday.

"Delta Dawn", Brian Guidry, 2013  courtesy Octavia Art Gallery
Installation View, courtesy Ocatavia Art Gallery
"Jumper", Alex Podesta, 2013, photograph by the author

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