Pin It

Review: works from the Deep South by Simon Gunning and Maude Schuyler Clay 

The river and the Delta inspire works at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art

click to enlarge art-1.jpg

"Did you ever stand and shiver ... just because you were looking at a river?" So sang Bob Dylan's early mentor, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, about a youthful trip to New Orleans where the Mississippi River's inscrutable currents embodied the sense of mystery he felt here — a sensibility echoed by Simon Gunning in this sprawling retrospective. Intrigued by the Big Muddy and its contrast with the pristine shores of his native Australia, Gunning devoted much of his life to exploring its awesome charisma and the city it shaped. In his early painting The Messenger, a bicycle courier navigates a narrow backstreet that ends with a huge freighter looming tall above antique buildings. Schiro's at Sunset (pictured) depicts 1990s Marigny as a panorama of street life, including stoop sitters, produce wagon vendors and stray dogs foraging amid discarded fried chicken bags as an elderly man in a sleeveless undershirt clutches a bag of groceries. The Haunted Wharf is a chaotic river vista framed by the skeletal ruins of a dock, a view that contrasts sharply with his gorgeously serene swamp scenes. Gunning is at his mysterious best in works like Waiting, where ships like massive floating monoliths gather at the mouth the river, the placid surface of which belies roiling currents surging into the Gulf Stream on their global journey.   Mississippi Delta native Maude Schuyler Clay returned home to record her world in photographs after a stint as a photo editor in New York. For her, the Delta is its people as they appear in their remote rural settings, as we see in images like Bonnie Claire, Green Car, a view of a young woman looking much like a pre-Raphaelite angel appearing with a 1953 Oldsmobile. In Bill with Gun, her cousin, legendary color photography pioneer William Eggleston, clutches a vintage shotgun in a characteristic pose that takes him out of the world's great museums and returns him squarely to his Mississippi Delta roots.


Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Pin It

Speaking of...

Submit an event Jump to date

Latest in Art Review

More by D. Eric Bookhardt

Spotlight Events

  • The Dumb Waiter @ Fortress of Lushington
    2215 Burgundy St.

    • Thursdays-Saturdays, Fri., March 23 and Sat., March 24. Continues through March 17
  • The Wiz: The Super Soul Musical @ Delgado Community College (Tim Baker Theater)
    615 City Park Ave.

    • Fridays-Sundays. Continues through March 25
  • A Streetcar Named Desire @ Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre
    616 St. Peter St.

    • Sat., March 17, 7:30 p.m., Sun., March 18, 3 p.m., Mon., March 19, 7:30 p.m., Thu., March 22, 7:30 p.m., Fri., March 23, 7:30 p.m., Sat., March 24, 7:30 p.m. and Sun., March 25, 3 p.m.
  • Close Me Out @ Hi-Ho Lounge
    2239 St. Claude Ave.

    • First Saturday of every month

© 2018 Gambit
Powered by Foundation