Jonathan Ferrara Gallery Info:

Friday, August 28, 2015

GINA PHILLIPS Opens Tonight at 21c Bentonville

GINA PHILLIPS, Escape from Jackson Barracks...The Resurrection of Chief Jumper, 2010
fabric, thread, acrylic paint, ink
43 x 79 inches

GINA PHILLIPS: A Thirsty Switch Still Quivers for Me |||
Opening tonight at 5pm at 21c Bentonville

21c Bentonville is thrilled to welcome artist Gina Phillips for a discussion of the upcoming exhibition, Gina Phillips: A Thirsty Switch Still Quivers for Me. Join us on FRI 08.28.15 for a conversation and tour with Gina and 21c Museum Director Alice Gray Stites. Exhibition opens at 5pm; tour and discussion begin at 5:30pm. Attendees are welcome to come and go during the event.

Born in Madison County, Kentucky, Gina Phillips is inspired by the imagery, narratives, and characters of both her native Kentucky and her current home in New Orleans. This five-year survey exhibition at 21c includes painting, sculpture, and her signature fabric and thread pieces, which Phillips creates in a wide range of scales and subject matter. “To me, making art is one half a desire to tell a story, and one half a love of the materials,” says Phillips. Applying craft-based technique to a compelling exploration of both personal experience and art historical tradition, Phillips transforms portraiture, landscape, and assemblage art to offer an immersive, multi-media exploration of the people and places that shape this artist’s visionary practice.

Gina Phillips earned a BFA from the University of Kentucky, and an MFA from Tulane University’s Newcomb College in New Orleans. Her art has been exhibited at galleries and museums across the world, including Ballroom Marfa, Marfa, Texas; the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans; VOLTA8, Basel, Switzerland; Prospect 2 Biennial, New Orleans; and others. In addition to 21c, works by Gina Phillips are in the collections of the New Orleans Museum, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, the Drake Hotel, Toronto; The Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation; Tulane University, and others. Gina Phillips is represented by Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, New Orleans.

SIDONIE VILLERE in Architectural Digest

Ceramicist and painter, SIDONIE VILLERE, in front of her piece January [diptych], 2015
canvas, string, nylon net, wire, plaster, muslin, acrylic and nylon stocking on gessoboard
14 x 11 x 2.5 inches per unit

by Jacqueline Terrebonne 

Artists, writers, and musicians have long gone looking for inspiration in New Orleans. And in the decade since Hurricane Katrina, even more have been drawn by the elusive, gritty charms of a city with streets named after the nine Greek muses. Not all of the seekers are transplants, though.

Ceramist and painter Sidonie Villere was born and raised in New Orleans and returned to the city just months before the storm hit. Her work, which she says draws on the themes of protection and vulnerability, is showcased at the Contemporary Arts Center as part of the exhibition “Reverb: Past, Present, Future.” The New Orleans Museum of Art and Ogden Museum of Southern Art have also timed shows to the tenth anniversary of Katrina, though none sets out to show art representative of the disaster, only work that has been created since.

Villere’s abstract, mostly white creations stem from various processes of building up and breaking down the materials she’s using. For Bind, which is featured in the show, she wanted to create the sense of nesting and comfort by using glazed porcelain wrapped in string. “You have these conflicting parts that are melded together as one piece,” explained Villere by phone from her Mid-City New Orleans studio. “It’s also kind of hard to tell what the materials are. It’s more mysterious that way.”

In a stroke of good fortune, Villere's studio equipment made it through Katrina unscathed. Right before the storm, her landlord told her and the other artists that he had sold the building and they had to pack up and leave their studios. Villere moved her kiln and supplies into storage, where they remained completely dry while her former studio sat underwater.

The New Orleans Advocate Reviews 'Reverb: Past, Present, Future'

 ADAM MYSOCK, Mars on Mars on Mars, 2013, acrylic on panel, 5 x 3 inches

ANITA COOKE, Bicycle Tire Apron I, 2009, bicycle tire tubing, window screening, fabric, rubber shelf liner, weed block fabric, produce bags, wool felt, polyester ruffle yardage, acrylic paint, thread
30 x 28 inches

At the CAC, past, present and a bit of the future of post-Katrina art |||
by John D'Addario

Of the three shows commemorating the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina currently on view at the main visual art venues in New Orleans, the Contemporary Art Center’s “REVERB: Past, Present, Future” confronts its defining event most directly.

While NOMA’s “Ten Years Gone” and the Ogden’s “The Rising” explore the city’s post-Katrina artistic identity in more oblique ways, “REVERB” largely does so head on.

That’s both its biggest draw, as well as its most apparent weakness.

Curated by New York-based Isolde Brielmaier, “REVERB” includes work by 38 artists — and it says a lot about the quality and breadth of the art scene in New Orleans over the past decade that there’s little overlap between the roster here and in the Ogden’s enormous “Louisiana Contemporary” group show across the street. Both shows are filled with strong work.

Aside from a brief statement at the show’s entrance, “REVERB” is almost wholly absent of explicit curatorial commentary, much less any specific background or contextual information on the artists or their work. (In fact, if you didn’t know any better, you could view the show as a wryly updated version of the CAC’s contentious 2012 “Spaces” show, which focused on three artist-run spaces in the nascent St. Claude arts district; here, a disproportionate amount of work is credited to the same number of big-ticket Julia Street commercial galleries.)

Fortunately, “REVERB” relies on a mostly cohesive installation to tease out several broad and readily identifiable themes in post-Katrina art in New Orleans.

One of the most prominent of those themes, of course, is the various ways the storm affected the physical fabric of every layer of life in the city, including its art.

Several works that clearly reference Katrina are collected on the CAC’s first floor. Highlights include Charlie Varley’s photographs documenting understated moments of surreal beauty (a celestial shaft of sunlight illuminating the ravaged interior of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome; a pair of plaster Madonnas on a road in New Orleans East) in the immediate days and weeks after the storm.

A mesmerizing mechanical piece by Abigail Clark makes visible notions of loss and displacement inherent in the city’s post-Katrina narrative. And the jagged edges and exposed layers of drywall and vintage wallpaper in an architectural installation reminiscent of a segment of storm-ravaged home by Carlie Trosclair are both terrifying and beautiful.

Similar themes continue throughout much of the art on the second floor, where visitors are confronted by Stephanie Patton’s “It will happen when you least expect it.” Occupying an entire wall and made out of pieces of stuffed mattress quilting, it communicates equal parts comfort and menace.

Works by Ben Diller and Cynthia Giachetti, Anita Cooke, and Rontherin Ratliff all incorporate found materials, some of which were salvaged from the wreckage of the storm. Ratliff’s wall assemblages of rusted springs and flaking window frames occupy a Katrina-haunted conceptual space between presence and decay, and have an especially powerful resonance.

That emphasis on explicitly Katrina-related motifs, however, is also responsible for the show’s biggest drawback. While it claims to explore the past, present, and future of post-Katrina artistic production in New Orleans, “REVERB” overwhelmingly favors the first two-thirds of that equation.

It’s somewhat of a missed opportunity, especially since there are several artists here — including Angel P., Skylar Fein, Courtney Egan , Norah Lovell, Carl Joe Williams and Sidonie Villere — who provide a tantalizing glimpse of where the currents of New Orleans art might be drifting in the future.

As it stands, however, there’s plenty of work in “REVERB” that shows where we’ve been, but not nearly as much that gives an indication of where art in New Orleans is going.

Guns in the Hands of Artists at Washington University St. Louis on FOX2 NOW

Washington University Set to Open Gun Art Exhibit |||
Patrick Clark
CLAYTON, MO (KTVI) – Jonathan Ferrara bangs a drum to get your attention.

‘Obviously you can see the mallets have been made from sawed off rifle barrels and the drum itself has the first line of Henry the 4th, ‘Of Guns and Drums, `’ says Jonathan Ferrara, Curator.

If William Shakespeare were around in modern times he might check out guns in the hands of artists. The project that started in New Orleans is making its way up river to Washington University`s Des Lee Gallery in downtown.

‘You wouldn’t normally see guns in an art gallery but in the context of this exhibition that’s really the point to take the conversation about guns and gun violence and look at it through the lens of art.

The designs are decommissioned gun parts acquired through a New Orleans police department buyback program.

The exhibit opens here September 16th and runs through November at a time when the topic of guns is something everyone is talking about.

‘This artist Steven Day experienced being assaulted and ended up being in the hospital,’ says Carmon Colangelo, the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts Dean at Washington University. ‘This is a real story, something he’s experienced in New Orleans. We’ve all lived with this fear and I think the shows motivated to talk about how we’re going to change this condition.’

‘That’s really the goal is for the art to get inside your head and maybe change that internal conversation about guns in our culture,’ says Ferrara.

And if art is to be experienced in person, this is an exhibit that will make an impact on many.

NIKKI ROSATO at the Children's Museum of the Arts New York

NIKKI ROSATO, Connections no. 2, 2012, hand cut road map, 11 x 12 inches


On View: September 14, 2015 – January 17, 2016 in the Cynthia C. Wainwright Gallery.The Children’s Museum of the Arts (CMA) is pleased to announce If You Lived Here, You’d Be Home on view in the Cynthia C. Wainwright Gallery. This exhibition takes cartography and mapping as its starting point and includes contemporary artists whose work references maps and mapping. Cartography, from two Greek terms chartis (map) and graphein (to write), is the study and art of making maps. The first explorers started creating maps to help them understand their own surroundings, as well as places beyond their conception. During a time when the world was thought to be flat, many of the first map-makers began embellishing maps with creatures we now know never existed – they were certain that dragons and mythical beings existed just beyond their worldview.

Maps help us glean spatial information about physical areas, but also have a history of capturing the imagination. They brilliantly compress complex ideas about space, scale, topography, power, social condition, and much more. The artists included in If You Lived Here, You’d Be Home take these ideas to the next level and recall those first fantastical cartographers, using maps to blend the transitional with the experimental. These contemporary artists use maps as their personal playground, using them to communicate elaborate ideas and critiques on complex concepts such as personal identity, politics, and even culture. As a medium, maps provide these artists with the freedom to interpret the meaning of the world around them.

Exhibiting Artists: Matthew Cusick, Joyce Kozloff, Barbara Macfarlane, Loren Munk, NIKKI ROSATO, Nike Schröeder, Susan Stockwell, Robert Walden

This exhibition is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. 

The Art Newspaper Features 'Reverb" at the CAC with Sidonie Villere

Artist Sidonie Villere with her ceramic work in Reveb at the CAC New Orleans
Post-storm production: New Orleans museums look to artists and their practice ||| Exhibitions focus on more subtle ways artists were influenced by Hurricane Katrina
by Julia Halperin

As the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina approached, museums in New Orleans faced a dilemma. How should art institutions commemorate the disaster? Should they revisit the images of devastation that dominated newspaper covers and television screens in August 2005, or focus on recovery?

For two of the city’s largest art institutions, the answer was neither. The Contemporary Art Center (CAC) and the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) avoided images of ruin and rebuilding to focus on more subtle ways artists were influenced by Hurricane Katrina.

The CAC issued an open call in January for local artists to submit work to its exhibition REVERB: Past, Present, Future (until 1 November). Curators received around 800 submissions from more than 200 artists. “We wanted to look at how the last ten years have impacted artists’ practices, their use of materials and the region’s artistic community,” says the curator Isolde Brielmaier. Brielmaier sel ected work by 34 New Orleans-based artists fr om three generations, including a text work by Ernest Little that reads “No twerking anytime”, an interactive video by Courtney Egan and handmade ceramic sculptures by Sidonie Villere. “We wanted to show what artists here are doing—but artists everywhere are engaging with these materials and concepts,” she says.

Meanwhile, the exhibition Ten Years Gone (until 7 September) at the New Orleans Museum of Art makes few direct references to Hurricane Katrina. Instead, it “includes several works that are about time itself, asking us to take a longer view at this pivotal moment,” says Russell Lord, the museum’s curator of photographs, prints and drawings, in a statement. “Ten years is a small crucible by which to measure the successes or failures of any recovery.” The exhibition features work by six artists, including Nicholas Nixon’s The Brown Sisters, a series of 40 photographs Nixon took of his wife and three sisters every year since 1975. Spring Hurlbut’s video Airborne (2008) captures the artist as he releases the ashes of loved ones into the air. Dawn DeDaux’s photographs of water inside tall polished acrylic slabs—each of which corresponds to a flood level in New Orleans after the levee breaches—are interspersed throughout the museum’s permanent collection.

Whether or not their work includes literal depictions of destruction, most of the artists were deeply affected by the storm. Skylar Fein, whose work is on view at the CAC, lost all of his belongings in Hurricane Katrina. He began building what he needed—a table there, a chair here—from detritus he found in the street. The experience “was a catalyst for him to become an artist”, Isolde Brielmaier says. “Out of sheer need and then out of want, he developed his practice.”