Review: Made in Louisiana at Stella Jones Gallery

Black artists confront New Orleans’ tricentennial
This sprawling expo of more than 60 works at Stella Jones Gallery offers a multifaceted view of centuries of history as interpreted by more than two dozen black artists. The title is actually Made in Louisiana with the "in" scratched out to signify that these works reflect local sensibilities even if the artists are based elsewhere.

Review: Bayou’s End at A Gallery for Fine Photography

Ben Depp’s otherworldly photographs of Louisiana wetlands
Have you ever dreamed you could fly over remote places that most people never see? Environmental photographer Ben Depp does that routinely in a flimsy motor-powered paraglider, soaring for hours above south Louisiana swamps in search of vivid views of our changing coastline.

Review: Lee Friedlander's jazz photography

Two series of photographs on display at the New Orleans Museum of Art
The link between jazz and abstract modern art is rarely noted by most art writers and historians, yet it is inescapable, even in photography. Lee Friedlander has long been lauded for his photos of musicians, but his international fame as a great American art photographer rests on his paradoxical ability to render totally realistic images that read like stark deadpan abstraction.

Review: Vessels of Mercy, Vessels of Wrath

A nautically themed group expo at Barrister’s Gallery
Ocean currents travel in circles. Time also is a current, so here we are, contemplating New Orleans' 300th year as an urban island just upriver from a restless sea that threatens our existence even as it nourishes our identity as a unique global city. It is a poetic paradox elaborated by 15 artists in this Vessels of Mercy, Vessels of Wrath expo curated by New Orleans Croatian Srdjan Loncar.

Review: The Rent Is Too Damn High

Art, ritual and neighborhood change at Crescent City Boxing Gym
As a setting for an art event, the Crescent City Boxing Gym, located amid nondescript warehouses in an obscure part of Central City, seems unusual. Inside its well-lit expanse, Martin Payton's imposing steel sculptures and a wide array of smaller works by artists such as K.D. Lewis and Cecelia and Jose Fernandes provide a colorful contrast to the desolation outside.

Review: Jim Blanchard at the Ogden Museum

The artist's watercolor paintings of local architecture are on display through Aug. 19
Although people and buildings are very different in almost every way, those differences are far less pronounced when reduced to two dimensions in a picture frame. Consequently, Jim Blanchard's mostly 19th-century New Orleans architectural portraits neatly complement Josef Salazar's 18th-century portraits of prominent local citizens at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art.

Review: Sarah Morris and Jockum Nordstrom at the CAC

Lively and uncharted explorations in paintings, film and collage through June 17
New York-based painter Sarah Morris says her Sawdust and Tinsel expo explores the "semiotics of capital and power structures" and "unapologetic appropriation of corporate iconography, Warholian pop and minimalist seriality." Despite the dire retro jargon, her work is lively and engaging.

Review: Carlos Rolon's Puerto Rico and New Orleans

The artist presents Carlos Rolon: Outside/In at NOMA
Where did cities come from? They seem to have happened as travelers at crossroads began trading what they had for what they needed.

Review: Lin Emery at Arthur Roger Gallery

New work from the New Orleans sculptor through April 28
Novelist Milan Kundera once wrote, "We pass through the present with our eyes blindfolded ..." and he added that only in retrospect can we "find out what we have experienced and what meaning it has." Looking back at modern art, Lin Emery's sculptures seem as timeless as anything by Eero Saarinen, Alexander Calder or any of the great modern designers who infused the forces of nature into their creations.

Review: Salazar's surprising reflection of Spanish New Orleans at the Ogden

Salazar: Portraits of Influence in Spanish New Orleans, 1785-1802 appears through Sept. 2
New Orleans always has been complicated. Even parts of its history that once seemed straightforward often spiral off in odd directions under close examination.

Review: Books Transposed and Crow Valley

Work from Tony Dagradi and Gina Philips at Jonathan Ferrara Gallery
Tony Dagradi is widely known for his silken modern jazz saxophone playing, a lyricism that reveals his mastery of an instrument with endless potentially rough edges. Less known are his sculptural collages.

Review: costuming meets haute couture in A Queen Within

New Orleans Museum of Art's fashion exhibit runs through May 28
New Orleans long has been a North American epicenter for costuming, but it never has been much of a showcase for haute couture. So when the New Orleans Museum of Art announced it was staging an artsy "fashion" exhibit, I was skeptical.


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