This month, the State Library of Louisiana premieres an exhibition based on a new Rodrigue book, The Other Side of the Painting, on view through February 2014. Unable to attend the November 2nd opening in Baton Rouge, George Rodrigue and I relied on curator Marney Robinson, who astonished us with her ability to fully utilize a one-walled space at the library’s entrance.
To create the exhibition, Robinson borrowed paintings by various artists from within our personal collection, including George Rodrigue’s original works from his archives, corresponding to vignettes from the UL Press publication, The Other Side of the Painting. Eleven of the sixteen pieces are on public display for the first time.
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(pictured: The Other Side of the Painting: A Special Exhibition, on view through February 2014 at the State Library of Louisiana, Baton Rouge-)
“This exhibition gives viewers a taste of the original art that inspired Wendy to write her book," explains George Rodrigue. “This includes not only my early art, but also paintings from her mother and interesting photographs, such as the King Tut line at the New Orleans Museum of Art from 1977.
"Both Wendy and I congratulate Marney Robinson for her selection and her eye for installation. We could not be more pleased with the finished exhibition.”
(pictured, Curator of Exhibitions, Marney Robinson, with her favorite grouping from the new exhibition at the State Library of Louisiana, including Spring Bouquet, 1979 by Mignon Wolfe, Hot Dog Halo, 1995 by George Rodrigue, and the King Tut line, 1977, courtesy of the New Orleans Museum of Art; click photo to enlarge-)
“Marney is rockin’ it!”
…says Bethany France, Director of Louisiana A+ Schools for the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts (GRFA), who joined Robinson for the exhibition’s premiere during the Louisiana Book Festival this weekend.
Simultaneously, our foundation unveils its latest project, a cookbook in partnership with the Louisiana Restaurant Association. The Pot and the Palette features award-winning student artwork from GRFA’s annual scholarship art contest, including recipes from Louisiana’s greatest chefs and restaurants.
(pictured, GRFA’s Director of Development, Wayne Fernandez, with artist Mallory Page at the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts Education Center, New Orleans; also pictured, George Rodrigue’s hand-painted fiberglass LSU cow and a mixed media on metal; click photo to enlarge-)
Although not quite a George Rodrigue biography, The Other Side of the Painting is the closest publication to date, a memoir recounting our personal histories and our love of the arts. As a result, this exhibition is revealing as well, explaining the origins of some of Rodrigue’s most famous works through the photographs, artists and histories that inspired him.
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The wall also includes original Rodrigue sketches and student artwork, including his Creature from the Black Lagoon from 1957, as well as the book's cover image, painted on illustration board while Rodrigue studied at the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles, 1965. Other works include his original Ragin' Cajun (1979), a classic 1969 landscape, and a painting from the Xerox Collection (2000).
“It makes for a very diverse exhibit,” explains Rodrigue, “and it provides the viewer with a better understanding of how this book formed around not only my art, but also mine and Wendy’s art-filled life together.”
-this exhibition is free and open to the public thru Feb 2014; hours and location details at this link; George Rodrigue and I extend our appreciation to Jim Davis, Robert Wilson, the Louisiana Book Festival, and the State Library of Louisiana-
-read the latest reviews of The Other Side of the Painting here-
-all proceeds from the book, The Other Side of the Painting, benefit the arts in education programs of the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts; order here-
-all proceeds from The Pot and the Palette benefit the Louisiana Restaurant Association Education Foundation and the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts; order here-
-for more art and discussion, please join me on facebook-