Late Works of George Rodrigue Celebrated at Ohr-O’Keefe Museum
NEW ORLEANS – (Friday, June 15, 2018) Drawn exclusively from the Rodrigue Archives and the artist’s private collection, George Rodrigue Studios and the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art present Rodrigue’s Blue Dog: Discovering Late Works on Canvas and Metal from June 12 until August 18, 2018. This exhibition is made possible by the R&B Feder Charitable Foundation and friends of the museum and is supported in part by funding from the Mississippi Arts Commission, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.
An opening reception marks the official beginning of the exhibition on Friday, June 15 from 5PM to 7PM in the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum’s IP Casino Gallery. On Saturday, June 16 from 1PM to 3PM, the museum will host a gallery talk with the late artist’s widow, Wendy Rodrigue, including a book signing of her memoir The Other Side of the Painting (2013, UL Press).
“This exhibition is one of the most impressive of George’s career in the arts. Many of these works have never been on public display,” says Wendy Rodrigue. “As one of the most important contemporary artists of his time, George aligned himself with Surrealism, Pop and Abstract. This is especially evident during the last years of his life. Even though he was battling illness, his technique and style became bigger, bolder and more daring than ever. The large-scale works on display are especially impressive.”
Rodrigue’s Blue Dog: Discovering Late Works on Canvas and Metal features twenty-five contemporary, rarely seen works of art created during the last decade of the artist’s life, as well as selections of pivotal works from the artist’s repertoire. Curated to highlight the artist’s tremendous output during the last years of his life, the exhibition showcases his interest in bold colors, abstract shapes, large scale and non-traditional materials.
“There is much more to the Blue Dog than people realize,” says Ohr-O’Keefe curator Douglas Myatt, “This exhibition tells an incredible story of George Rodrigue’s evolution as an artist and his substantial impact on the contemporary art movement. By including certain key works from the Rodrigue archives, it’s compelling to see how his style developed and how these later pieces fit within the context of his life’s work.”
Born and raised in southwest Louisiana’s “Cajun Country”, George Rodrigue (1944-2013) preserved on his canvas what he feared was his dying heritage – including its land, people, traditions and mythology. It was a Cajun legend – the loup-garou – that spawned his most famous series, The Blue Dog. This exhibition includes Rodrigue’s first painting without reference to the Louisiana landscape, a striking and pivotal work from 1991 that marked the beginning of the Blue Dog Series. In addition, selections from Swamp Dogs and Hollywood Stars combine Rodrigue’s love of reflective metal surfaces with painting, photography and modern technology.
Tickets to the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum Exhibition Galleries can be purchased at the museum box office for up to $10 per person. Admission to the exhibition is included with a museum membership. Group rates for guided and self-guided tours are available. A commemorative exhibition poster is available for purchase at the museum gift shop.
In-person interviews and photo opportunities are available throughout the weeks of June 11th and 18th. A media kit with additional information and photos is accessible at this Dropbox link: http://bit.ly/2rxMCH6
For more information on the exhibition, visit the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum’s website at https://www.georgeohr.org/. For information on George Rodrigue Studios, visit https://georgerodrigue.com/ or find it on Facebook at Art of George Rodrigue. Follow the Foundation at George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts on Facebook or at www.rodriguefoundation.org.
About George Rodrigue:
Artist George Rodrigue was born and raised in New Iberia, Louisiana. His art studies at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles spawned one of the greatest success stories in American art. In the early 1990s his Blue Dog Series, based on the French-Cajun loup-garou legend, catapulted him to worldwide fame, while his dark Renaissance-like landscapes developed into robust modern masterpieces. As a passionate philanthropist, Rodrigue founded the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts, advocating the importance of the arts in education. For more information, visit www.rodriguefoundation.org.
About the Ohr-O’Keefe
The Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art’s mission is to promote and preserve the unique legacy of Biloxi potter George E. Ohr and the diverse cultural heritage of the Mississippi Gulf Coast; and to exhibit works which exemplify the independent, innovative, and creative spirit of George Ohr, emancipated craftsman Pleasant Reed, and Ohr-O’Keefe Museum architect Frank Gehry. This mission is served through compelling exhibitions and educational experiences viewed from a fresh perspective relevant to our community, the region, and the nation with a strong focus on ceramic arts.