NEW ORLEANS — During a recent tour of the Michael Meads retrospective at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, curator Bradley Sumrall jokingly credited the artist with single-handedly inventing the “hot redneck” genre with his photographs of young Southern men in various states of languid shirtlessness.
John D’Addario is a veteran blogger (since 1996), adjunct professor of arts administration at the University of New Orleans, professional arts educator, photographer and man of the world. You can visit him at jonno.com.
Basquiat in the American South
NEW ORLEANS — To see Basquiat and the Bayou, the “exhibition within an exhibition” that by general consensus is the must-see component of the sprawling Prospect.3: Notes for Now
biennial triennial that opened in New Orleans on October 25, you need to make your way to the top floor of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in the city’s Warehouse Arts District.
Notes from New Orleans: Prospect.3 Artists Announced
NEW ORLEANS — Judging from this week’s press events announcing the artistic and venue lineup for Prospect.3, it looks like things are indeed going to be shaken up considerably in New Orleans this fall.
Lost and Found: Lynda Benglis’s “The Wave”
NEW ORLEANS — When we last left “The Wave,” Lynda Benglis’s monumental bronze sculpture she created for the 1984 World’s Fair in New Orleans, it had just been rediscovered behind a disused sewer treatment plant in suburban Kenner, Louisiana.
Remembering George Dureau
NEW ORLEANS — When news of George Dureau’s death was announced by his gallery this past Monday afternoon, word traveled quickly among my extended circle of friends and professional acquaintances in New Orleans.
Mel Chin’s Media Hacks and Conceptual Beauty
NEW ORLEANS — Considering that one of Mel Chin’s most audacious works appeared before an audience of millions on network television over a two-year period, it’s curious that he’s not more of a household name.
AIDS, Art and Activism: Remembering Gran Fury
Long before Facebook and Twitter made getting a message out to a mass audience as simple as a couple of clicks, the art/activist collective known as Gran Fury used a heady combination of bold graphic design, guerrilla dissemination tactics, and art institutional support to communicate the urgency of the AIDS epidemic in light of disastrous government and political inaction.
William Eggleston Comes Back to New Orleans (Prospect 2 Spotlight)
NEW ORLEANS – Prospect 2 isn’t just about the new or the conceptual or the overwrought: William Eggleston brings a pair of several decades-old works to his Prospect installation at the Old US Mint on the edge of the French Quarter, and together they offer the most satisfying viewing experience of anything I’ve seen so far in this edition of the biennial.
Turning a Beloved Novel into Art (Prospect 2 Spotlight)
NEW ORLEANS — Of all the stories about New Orleans, John Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces is one of the most universally beloved. So an artist who attempts to engage it in a different medium has their work cut out for them from the get-go: anyone who’s read Toole’s posthumously published comedic opus already has their own idea of how Ignatius J. Reilly and his world should be brought to life.
Sophie Calle Brings Her Baggage to New Orleans (Prospect 2 Spotlight)
Sophie Calle moves into New Orleans’ 1850 House for her Prospect 2 installation and brings dozens of objects and stories with her — with mixed results.
Re-Kitschifying a New Orleans Post-modern Icon (Prospect 2 Spotlight)
NEW ORLEANS — The Piazza d’Italia generally isn’t high on many people’s lists of Things To See And Do In New Orleans; in fact, I’d guess that most of the tourists who stumble across it do so while getting lost on their way to or from the nearby Harrah’s casino or Hilton Riverfront. They probably no idea that this gaudy urban ensemble, designed by Charles Moore and opened in 1978, represents one of the seminal pieces of postmodern architecture in the country. In his Prospect 2 biennial piece, Francesco Vezzoli adds an extra layer of kitsch to New Orleans’ Piazza d’Italia with his “Portrait of Sophia Loren.”
Rediscovering Ed Kienholz’s “Five Car Stud”
Like the Memorial Day holiday weekend with which it bookends the summer, Labor Day is an opportunity for hard-working Americans to kick back, pop open a couple of beers and reflect upon what makes the good ol’ U. S. of A. so great. Which is why the opening of the new installation of Edward Kienholz’s disturbing fever dream “Five Car Stud” at LACMA this Sunday couldn’t have come at a better (or more ironic) time.