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GoNOLA Guide to Summer Art Exhibits in New Orleans

Cityscape ; 1987; gouache on paper by Krista Jurisich; The Historic New Orleans Collection , gift of Judith L. Jurisich, 2017.0021 (courtesy of courtesy of The Historic New Orleans Collection)
Cityscape ; 1987; gouache on paper by Krista Jurisich; The Historic New Orleans Collection , gift of Judith L. Jurisich, 2017.0021 (courtesy of courtesy of The Historic New Orleans Collection)

Art, like the heat of a New Orleans summer, is almost symbiotic with human existence. Precursors to modern humans created the oldest known geometric art over 400,000 years ago while our human ancestors left behind cave drawings over 30,000 years ago. Our proclivity to create helps us to learn from the world around us and to wrestle with the challenges it presents in order to find meaning.

Several local institutions have special exhibits lined up for the summer that provide a quiet space for contemplation. Time travel to France’s Age of Revolution or around the globe to Iraq. Get lost in the blurs of abstract art or guess at what the faceless street artist Banksy was trying to say. Below is our selection of summer art exhibits. Bonus: air conditioning provided.

Adolphe Braun "Panorama of Pompei" ca. 1868 (photo courtesy of New Orleans Museum of Art)
Adolphe Braun “Panorama of Pompei” ca. 1868 (photo courtesy of New Orleans Museum of Art)

You Are Here: A Brief History of Photography and Place

April 26 to July 28, 2019
New Orleans Museum of Art

The New Orleans Museum of Art’s new exhibit You Are Here demonstrates how photography can both facilitate and impede our understanding of the world, inviting us to think more deeply about how photography affects our experience of the world and other people in it,” said Brian Piper, Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Fellow for Photography. The exhibit is developed almost entirely from the museum’s permanent collection and features the work of Lola Alvarez-Bravo, Anna Atkins, Eugene Atget, John Divola, Peter Henry Emerson, Gordon Parks, Edward Steichen, Carrie Mae Weems, and many others.

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Study for The Apotheosis of Homer, 1826 (photo courtesy of New Orleans Museum of Art)
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Study for The Apotheosis of Homer, 1826 (photo courtesy of New Orleans Museum of Art)

Paper Revolutions: French Drawings from the New Orleans Museum of Art 

April 10 to July 14, 2019
New Orleans Museum of Art

Ending soon, the Paper Revolutions: French Drawings from the New Orleans Museum of Art exhibit examines draftsmanship through the lens of political and stylistic change during France’s Age of Revolution (1789-1870). In a time period known for its violent instability, new styles of art emerged, including Neoclassicism. “These drawings are intimate in scale, and offer profound insight into the artistic practice of great French artists, from David to Delacroix,” said Kelsey Brosnan, Zemurray Curatorial Fellow for European Art at NOMA. The exhibit concludes with NOMA’s Bastille Day Fête.

A installation from Wafaa Bilal, part of NOMA's Bodies of Knowledge exhibit (photo courtesy of New Orleans Museum of Art)
A installation from Wafaa Bilal, part of NOMA’s Bodies of Knowledge exhibit (photo courtesy of New Orleans Museum of Art)

Bodies of Knowledge

June 28 to October 13, 2019
New Orleans Museum of Art

Bodies of Knowledge examines the ways in which language informs our cultural identities. The immersive exhibit at the New Orleans Museum of Art features eleven contemporary artists from around the globe and uses books, silent film, ink, musical scores, and more as the vehicles for this contemplation. In Zhang Huan’s portrait series, the artist visually documents a performance in which the names and stories of his family history and Chinese folktales cover his face. Wafaa Bilal’s installation, a meditation on the burning of Baghdad’s libraries during the 2003 American invasion of Iraq, invites museum visitors to place donated books on shelves. Following the close of the exhibition, they will be shipped to the College of Fine Arts at the University of Baghdad. 

Courtney Egan, Cluster, 2015, HD Video Projection (photo courtesy of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art)
Courtney Egan, Cluster, 2015, HD Video Projection (photo courtesy of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art)

Courtney Egan: Virtual Idylls

May 30 to September 1, 2019
Ogden Museum of Southern Art

Courtney Egan is a New Orleans born digital artist and founder of local visual art collective Antenna Gallery. Her projection-based installation, Courtney Egan: Virtual Idylls, plays on an intermingling of botanical imagery with sculpture and technology. The exhibit contemplates how technology affects our perception of the natural world. It is on view this summer at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art.

Piercing the Inner Wall: The Art of Dusti Bongé (photo courtesy of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art)
Piercing the Inner Wall: The Art of Dusti Bongé (photo courtesy of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art)

Piercing the Inner Wall: The Art of Dusti Bongé

April 11 to September 8, 2019
Ogden Museum of Southern Art

Dusti Bongé is widely recognized as Mississippi’s first Abstract Expressionist painter and also as the first to consistently work in the Modernist style. Piercing the Inner Wall traces Bongé’s artistic journey with a body of Cubist, Surrealist, and Abstract Expressionist work drawing on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, New Orleans, and the New York School. The exhibit is on view this summer at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art.

Art of the City: Postmodern to Post - Katrina , presented by The Helis Foundation reviews three decades of creative accomplishment in New Orleans (photo by Eli A. Haddow courtesy of the Historic New Orleans Collection)
Art of the City: Postmodern to Post-Katrina , presented by The Helis Foundation reviews three decades of creative accomplishment in New Orleans (photo by Eli A. Haddow courtesy of the Historic New Orleans Collection)

Art of the City: Postmodern to Post-Katrina

April 6 to October 6, 2019
Historic New Orleans Collection

The Historic New Orleans Collection, a museum, research center, and publisher dedicated to preserving the history and culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South, celebrates the opening of its new Seignouret-Brulatour Building with Art of the City: Postmodern to Post-Katrina, presented by The Helis Foundation. The exhibits features the work of over 75 artists with connections to New Orleans, including Candy Chang, Brandan Odums, Rontherin Ratliff, and Krista Jurisich. The contemporary pieces, created over the last several decades, are inspired by and speak to life in New Orleans.

The Contemporary Arts Center (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Identity Measures

August 3 to October 5, 2019
Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans

Identity Measures at the Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans is an open call exhibition showcasing the work of 23 artists. Through a range of contemporary pieces and materials, the exhibit explores the idea of personal and collective identity, its fluidity, and the socioeconomic, geographical, historical, and many other factors that influence it. Its opening reception coincides with Hancock Whitney White Linen Night on Saturday, August 3 from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Sean Cummings with Banky's "The Looters" mural during conservation (courtesy of International House)
Sean Cummings with Banksy’s “The Looters” mural during conservation. (Photo courtesy of International House)

Banksy’s “The Looters”

Permanent
International House

Banksy, perhaps the most notorious and elusive street artist in the world, left behind 14 murals in New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Gustav in 2008. The majority are now lost, but “The Looters,” rescued from demolition by local preservationist and developer Sean Cummings, now stands restored in the International House‘s lobby. The mural, which depicts two members of the National Guard loading electronics into a shopping cart, is a typical Banksy meditation on our society and the things we value. The mural is accompanied by a small exhibit in an adjoining room which showcases the rescue and conservation timeline of the piece.

Emily Ramírez Hernández is the child of New Orleans natives whose families have been in the city for generations. Emily's earliest memories of New Orleans include joyful car rides over bumpy streets, eating dripping roast beef po-boys at Domilise's, and catching bouncy balls during Mardi Gras parades with cousins. An urban planner by day and freelance writer by night, when she is off the clock she enjoys biking around town, belly dancing, and catching nerdlesque shows.

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