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Defender Picks


Art Openings and Shows in NOLA

Each week, NoDef brings you a comprehensive directory of visual arts
in the Crescent City from Julia to St. Claude

June 17-24

Being “between openings” on the New Orleans art scene offers enough time to hit the Big Three with a lot of gusto.  The upcoming week is chock full of O, CAC and NOMA.  The CAC screens Sol Lewitt this Wednesday night, offering a singular glimpse into the mind of this landmark conceptual artist.  One of only two artists with work featured in the Washington, DC American Museum of the Holocaust, Lewitt is worth your time.  The Ogden holds its annual Magnolia Ball, and NOMA opens “Behind Closed Doors.”


Openings & Events 

Contemporary Arts Center, 900 Camp Street

June 18th, “Sol Lewitt” film screening

7pm - Rare screen time with arguably THE foremost figure in American conceptual art


The Ogden Museum of Southern Art, 925 Camp Street

June 19th, Ogden After Hours

“Behind Closed Doors:  Art in the Spanish-American Home 1492 – 1898”

6 to 8pm, music by Alvin Youngblood Hart


June 20th, The Magnolia Ball honoring Mignon Faget

Featuring music by Tank and the Bangas

7pm Patron Preview Party

8pm Ball and Silent Auction


NOMA, One Collins Diboll Circle at City Park

June 20th, 5pm to 9pm in conjunction with Friday Nights at NOMA

“Behind Closed Doors:  Art in the Spanish-American Home 1492 – 1898”

5:30 to 8:30pm, music by Javier Olondo

6pm, Lecture with Richard Aste, Curator of the Brooklyn Musuem

“Expanding and Redefining American Art at the Brooklyn Museum”



Continuing Exhibitions


Barrister’s, 2331 St. Claude Avenue at Spain Street

Closed through June


Byrdie’s, 2422 St. Claude Avenue

“berlanderi – in the Belize Delta” continues.  An installation of sculpture and pulp paintings by Megan Singleton investigating native and invasive flora that clutch Louisiana between the fingers of their roots.


The Front, 4100 St. Claude Avenue

Room 1 & 2

For “Heirloom,” Claire Rau works out some misgivings about the concept of sentimental value. Think dusty silk flowers and cornucopias of abundance immortalized in wood. Set your soul free when you figure out what it was you truly loved about grandma. Chances are it wasn’t her wooden Buddha statuette from the South Pacific.


Room 3

“The Natural” pairs up artist Kenneth Pietrobono and writer Ross Hulkes as “Extraction.” The work seeks to expose the fundamental myths about social order, economy, and political thought by comparing them to forces of nature. Is this really how things are, or just the way we believe they have to be? Also involves a public installation in the backyard!


Room 4

Jessye McDowell’s “Make it Real” takes a stab at nostalgia through the portal of music. McDowell’s concept of “luxury detritus” incorporates props scavenged from NY Fashion Week. McDowell weaves a conceptual picture of the cycle of longing for a “natural life,” resulting in pleasurable excess of today while waiting for a technologically perfected tomorrow. Luscious 3D landscapes imitate fetish, tactile sculptural objects that tantalize like window dressing.


Good Children Gallery, 4037 St. Claude Avenue

Ca$h and Carry: everything inside the building for sale is yours, $50 each piece.  Works by emerging and established artists alike.  This is the clearance sale of clearance sales for artworks.  Everything, it seems, must go.  Sale continues through July 6th.


The May Space, 2839 North Robertson, Ste 105

Lotte Geeven’s “VIGOR” is “a solo exhibition comprised of a video projection, a moving image and an immersive installation with a proprietary publication” which explores our relationship in this specific place, to the forces of matter, power and water. Multi-media artist Geeven collaborated with Milo Daemgen and Alexander H. Payne in conjunction with Greenhouse Collective to produce the video projection portion of the installation.


Press Street’s Antenna, 3718 St. Claude Avenue

Loving Festival continues at Antenna with MixedMessages.4.  Contributing artists such as James Edward Bates, Bottletree, Janet Boyd, Luisa Dantas, Jeri Hilt, Soraya Jean-Louis McElroy, Nathan Pietrykowski, José Torres-Tama, Jave Yoshimoto, and others.


Staple Goods, 1340 St. Roch Avenue

“Beats/Breaks” by Jered Sprecher is a collection of paintings exploring the high and low of visual culture. Active, dynamic paintings imitate the siege each of us faces in the digital age of yet another Picture Generation.  


UNO St. Claude, 2429 St. Claude Avenue

Untitled, Loyola Visual Arts League, and UNO have teamed up to present 37 works by 22 artists, split between UNO St. Claude and PARSE Gallery.  Courteously juried by UNO MFA alum 2007 sculptor Alex Podesta.


Second Story Gallery at the Healing Center, 2372 St. Claude Avenue

“Helter Swelter,” a group show that might be about murder gangs and the old, “It ain’t the heat, it’s the humidity” defense.



Ariodante Gallery, 535 Julia Street

Ariodante installed a whole new bundle of artsy goodness last Saturday the 7th.  Mixed media works by the always-intriguing Epaul Julien are featured alongside paintings by Louisiana native Brandi Newman. The artful wood-turning of Jim Creel and eclectic jewelry by Suzanne Juneau round out the show. 


Arthur Roger Gallery, 432 & 434 Julia Street

Amy Weiskopf’s “Still Lifes” continues to hang at Arthur Roger, generously through mid-July.  This is not an excuse to waste time waiting to see the work at the last minute.  Weiskopf’s quaint depictions of everyday veggies, seashells, and creepy cookies are bursting at the seams with virtuoso displays and lesser-known comparisons.  Her purple onion is more fun at a party than most of your relatives, and probably smarter.  Get over there.


You may be quite familiar with Dale Chihuly’s perfect and overwhelming chandeliers, though no two are much alike.  Arthur Roger displays other types of work by the renowned glass sculptor that you may not know about.  ARG presents Chihuly’s abstractions in vases and drawings in flat glass, even a few gravity-defying swamp scenes of uncanny similarity to Louisiana landscapes.  The show is up through July 12th.


Boyd Satellite, 440 Julia Street

Boyd Satellite welcomes “Sputnik 2,” a group show culled from work by Boyd favorites.  


Callan Contemporary, 518 Julia Street

Callan enthusiastically welcomes the large scale canvases of “Qualia,” an exhibition by local painter James Flynn.  Taking his color inspiration from aerial creatures of the Amazon, Flynn’s large-scale works confront viewers with a “calmative” hum, coming to life in changing life.


Jean Bragg Gallery of Southern Art, 600 Julia Street

Terry Kenney presents her gently lit, softly rendered scenes of New Orleans, from classically painted shotguns to hazy railroad tracks.  A soft, loving look at the city from a local perspective, Kenney’s “Lakeside – Riverside” is invested with emotional attachment rather than revelry.


Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, 400 Julia Street

Sidonie Villere toes the line between 2D and 3D with “Limbo” this month.  Utilizing textiles on improvised canvases, Villere works out emotional dilemmas through topographical experiments.  Using the work as an embodiment of struggle, she seeks an empathetic rather than learned response from her viewer.

The sumptuous surfaces of “Desert of the Real” by Bonnie Maygarden. Maygarden brings the best of what she is known for, fiercely realistic imitations of digital interpretations of actual…textures.  Frequently painting on mediums like pleather and nylon, Maygarden’s work foretells a digital future devoid of touch altogether.


LeMieux Gallery, 332 Julia Street

“Water, Water Everywhere” occupies LeMieux, a continuing group exhibition of expressionistic, abstract and photographic images.


Martine Chaisson Gallery, 727 Camp Street

Martine Chaisson Gallery assembles its most vivid characters in Jonathan Mayers, Hannah Cooper McCauley and Anna Timmerman for a fun and engaging group pop-up.  Works like “Rougarou vs. Gojira” prove what a genre purist Mayers must be; Cooper McCauley explores adulthood with photographic trepidation and bees with heroic fearlessness; and Anna Timmerman wonders if it is still life.


Octavia Gallery, 454 Julia Street

Betsy Stewart’s “Microscopic Cosmos” investigates the “ambiguity between the infinite and the minute” with large, playfully planned canvases full of your worst nightmares or most vivid dreams.  Meet bacteria which is resting in the gutters but reaching for the stars.  Colorful, hangable, original and oddly endearing. 

Octavia also hangs a group exhibit exploring themes of duality and dichotomy.  Ponder presence and absence, order and chaos, light versus dark and the paradoxical like.  Features all-stars like Nina Ferre, Máximo Florez, Lía García, Anna Malagrida. Arno Rafael Minkkinen, Enoc Perez, Maria Martinez-Cañas, Vanessa Vallejo-Mosienko, Doris Salcedo, and Dustin Yellin.


TEN Gallery, 4432 Magazine Street

“Mouths and Hands” by Robyn Denny features all new works in a series that seeks to depict the fleeting nature of conversations in their unresolved and endlessly dismaying nuances.  The concept of qualia just doesn’t cut it in the verbal world, and Robyn Denny’s engaging new show strikes a chord in which “tension and happiness exist in the same action.” 

Group show “The Ambiguity of Space” features work by Jim Graham, Alex Schechter, and Bryce Speed.  Curated by Sarah Wiseman.



NOMA, One Collins Diboll Circle, City Park

 “Robert Rauschenberg and the ‘Five from Louisiana’”

In 1977 Rauschenberg participated in the NOMA exhibition Five from Louisiana as one of five Louisiana artists who had gained international prominence. These artists included Lynda Benglis, Tina Girouard, Richard Landry, and Keith Sonnier. This is the first time since 1977 that these two series have been shown together at NOMA, along with artworks by the other Louisiana artists from that seminal exhibition


“Rising Up” is an exhibition of Hale Woodruff’s Talladega College wall murals.  A dual effort between the High Museum of Art and Talladega College have preserved these works and set them on the road for lucky art-lovers to experience first-hand.  Grand in scale and luscious in color, these works will remain on view on the second floor through September 14th.


“Sphere of Influence:  Pictorialism, Women and Modernism” is on display in NOMA’s Mann Pailet Gallery on the second floor through September 24th and tells the story of networks and groups of female photographers and their impact on the history – and thus present-day – photography.


Ongoing at the Ogden Museum of Contemporary Southern Art

“A Sense of Place II”

This comprehensive exhibit once again brings together some of the most important and significant acquisitions from the permanent collection to celebrate and expand upon the original vision for the museum. Ranging from works included in the initial donation from the Roger Houston Ogden Collection to more recent acquisitions, this exhibition showcases one of the most important collections in America.


“Shadows of History:  Photographs of the Civil War from the Collection of Julia J. Norrell”

A traveling collection encompassing the most iconic photographs of the Civil War by the most prominent photographers including George N. Barnard, Alexander Gardner, Timothy H. O’Sullivan, and Mathew Brady.


“Into the Light II: Photographs from the Permanent Collection of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art”  

Housing “one of the most important and comprehensive collections of Southern photography in the U.S.” Ogden’s second phase of this unique exhibition highlights rare and previously-unseen photographs from its holdings. More work culled from the ouvres of Shelby Lee Adams, William Christenberry, the late George Dureau, William Eggleston, Birney Imes, Roland L. Freeman, Marion Post Wolcott, and many others.


 “I’ll Save You Tomorrow” Juan Logan’s multi-media collection continues on the fourth floor, with installations, paintings, collages and sculpture.  Through July 20th.


Walter Inglis Anderson: Selections from the Permanent Collection of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art


Southern Regionalists: Selections from the Permanent Collection of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art


Andrews-Humphrey Gallery

George “The Dot Man”Andrews (1911-1996) was a self-taught artist from Plainview, Georgia. The exhibit also includes his son, the late Benny, who was a civil rights activist and proponent for change in the art world, where he faced discrimination as a multiracial artist. Nene Humphrey is a sculpture, drawer, and printmaker whose work draws from her Roman Catholic background.


Thornton Dial’s “Struggling Tiger in Hard Times”

Will Henry Stevens Gallery: A pioneer of southern modernism, Stevens organizes the landscapes around him in clean shapes and colors


The Historic New Orleans Collection, 533 Royal Street

“Creole World:  Photographs of New Orleans and the Latin Caribbean Sphere”

A book and exhibition by renowned author and photographer Richard Sexton exploring the architectural and urban similarities among the culturally rich locales of Haiti, Colombia, Argentina, Cuba, Ecuador and New Orleans.  Trace these connections with this unique and enthralling exhibit.


Shout, Sister, Shout!  The Boswell Sisters of New Orleans 

In the 1920s and ’30s, a trio of sisters from New Orleans became the darlings of radio’s golden age. Martha, Connie, and Vet Boswell were classically trained musicians heavily influenced by the city’s vibrant jazz scene. Together they pioneered the cheerful, close-harmony style that became emblematic of 1940s girl groups. Join The Historic New Orleans Collection in rediscovering the Boswell Sisters, one of the city’s most celebrated musical exports.


“Civil War Battlefields and National Parks” the photography of AJ Meeks final weekend, through Saturday, July 5th.


From Cameo to Close Up:  New Orleans in Film

Celebrating Louisiana’s role on the silver screen, this exhibition features posters, lobby cards, photos, press books and other ephemera from the silent era to the mid-1990’s.  Objects are from THNOC’s permanent holdings.


Scale Model of 1915 French Quarter

In conjunction with HNOC’s 2007 exhibition Four Hundred Years of French Presence in Louisiana, the Minister of Culture and Communication of France presented a model of the French Quarter as it would have appeared in about 1915 to the people of New Orleans. Built in 1962 by French artists and jazz enthusiasts Pierre Atlan and Pierre Merlin, the large model depicts the look and character of the French Quarter when it was still a thriving residential area, as well as Storyville and the city’s rail lines. Although the original model covered the entire city, the only surviving portion is the French Quarter.

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Renard Boissiere, Evan Z.E. Hammond, Naimonu James, Wilson Koewing, J.A. Lloyd, Nina Luckman, Dead Huey Long, Alexis Manrodt, Joseph Santiago, Andrew Smith, Cynthia Via, Austin Yde


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