Pin It

William Greiner's Fallen Paradise and Warrington Colescott's Sweet Suite Louisiana 

click to enlarge art_rev-1.jpg

It's been said "the ordinary becomes extraordinary" in the color photographs of William Greiner, and that is both true and not. Although the places he photographs are fundamentally ordinary, his ironic vision reveals there is more to it than that. Sport Palace is a nocturnal view of a vaguely Deco Jefferson Highway tavern, but the crimson reflections of its neon sign in a puddle in the parking lot seem as eerie as a scene from a Raymond Chandler or Barry Gifford novel. Even so, most of these places simply are what they are — or maybe more so. For instance, Malts is a jazzy, colorful composition featuring the faded fossil of a fast food joint from the era of cars with big fins, and London Lodge depicts a fabulous 1950s motel rising like a mirage just past a huge sinkhole in the adjacent street like the gaping maw of an apocalyptic landscape. Here Greiner takes us down the lost highways of the American Dream to places that once embodied progress but over time became elegiac outposts and poetic reliquaries for the pop-cultural curiosities of the past.

  Although born in California and based in Wisconsin for nearly 40 years, Warrington Colescott's Creole roots are showing in this Sweet Suite Louisiana print series at the New Orleans Museum of Art. The 89-year-old artist's New Orleans lineage is apparent in these flamboyantly colorful intaglio prints depicting scenes from Louisiana history. Audubon in the Atchafalaya has the artist/naturalist spying on graceful egrets as Cajuns and raccoons scarf down crawfish along the bayous. The City Defeated, Occupied, Women Behave Badly illustrates Civil War-era damsels mooning the Union troops, while other images depict epochal events like Huey Long's assassination and Storyville's last days. Nearly as teeming with characters and subplots as HBO's Treme series, they illustrate the bravura technique of a master printer who has a lot to say and doesn't let his age get in his way. — D. Eric Bookhardt

Fallen Paradise: Photographs by William Greiner

Sweet Suite Louisiana: Intaglio Prints by Warrington Colescott

Through July 11

New Orleans Museum of Art, City Park, 658-4100;


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Pin It
Submit an event Jump to date

Latest in Art Review

Spotlight Events

  • The Three Musketeers @ Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden
    New Orleans Museum of Art, City Park, 1 Collins Diboll Circle

    • Wednesdays-Fridays, Sundays, 7 p.m. Continues through May 27
  • An Act of God @ Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre
    616 St. Peter St.

    • Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through May 27
  • Sueno @ First Unitarian Universalist Church
    5212 S. Claiborne Ave.

    • Saturdays, Sundays and Fri., June 8, 8 p.m. Continues through June 10
  • Bayou Country Superfest @ Mercedes-Benz Superdome
    1500 Poydras St.

    • Through May 27
  • The Truth Has Changed @ Contemporary Arts Center
    900 Camp St.

    • Through May 27

© 2018 Gambit
Powered by Foundation