Media Contact:

Mary Mouton
Mouton Media, LLC
3724 Camp Street
New Orleans, LA 70115
(504) 261-4895

Editor's Note: Curator is available for interviews and media are welcome to tour the exhibit beginning November 3. Preview is Nov. 3 at 5:30 p.m. Images:

NEW ORLEANS, LA-George Dunbar: Elements of Chance is the first comprehensive museum retrospective for the artist George Dunbar (American, b. 1927), who played a pivotal role in introducing abstract art to the South. The exhibition explores the evolution of Dunbar's art from his early paintings from the 1940s and 1950s to his most recent contemporary work in clay relief. A New Orleans native, Dunbar studied in Philadelphia and New York before returning to Louisiana in the 1950s to create paintings, sculptures, assemblages, and prints that marry the stark geometry of modern art with lush, elemental materials like clay and gold leaf that call forth Louisiana's distinctive local landscape.

"NOMA is delighted to celebrate the career of one of Louisiana's most influential and talented artists," says Susan M. Taylor, Montine McDaniel Freeman Director. "The opportunity to showcase the work of an artist so closely connected with the New Orleans' arts community and NOMA's own history is especially meaningful as we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of NOMA's Odyssey Ball this fall."

Dunbar's richly textured works explore abstract art's connection to landscape and place, and his unique vision for abstraction highlights Louisiana's pivotal-if widely underestimated-role in the broader story of 20th century American art. "George Dunbar's work," says Katie A. Pfohl, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, "truly helped create a context and place for contemporary art in New Orleans, introducing the city to vanguard new ideas about art making."

"Being a native New Orleanian, I've had the privilege of exhibiting my work at NOMA several times but have never had a true retrospective of my work," said George Dunbar. "I am honored and humbled that NOMA has chosen to show the entire progression of my career as an artist."

The exhibition will be accompanied by a limited-edition artist book created in collaboration with George Dunbar, which contains an in-depth interview with the artist by NOMA's Director, Susan M. Taylor and an essay that contextualizes Dunbar's work within the rich history of 20th-century American art by Katie Pfohl. The catalogue will be available in the Museum Shop alongside a variety of other holiday gift items that celebrate Dunbar's unique vision for abstract art and stunning artworks in gold and silver leaf.


Saturday, November 12, 2016
Patron Party - 7 pm
Gala - 8 pm-12 midnight
Tickets: 504.658.4121 or visit

The 50th Odyssey presented by IBERIABANK will take place on Saturday, November 12 at the New Orleans Museum of Art. Chaired by Susu and Andrew Stall, The 50th Odyssey will raise funds for the museum to present world-class exhibitions and arts education programming.

Patrons will enjoy delicious cuisine by 1718 Catering and Events, Hyatt Regency New Orleans; craft cocktails by the Grand Bevy, Los Angeles, CA; champagne tasting; live music by Gio, Timothee Lovelock and Karma; a silent auction featuring one-of-a-kind artwork, antiques, trips and more in celebration of this momentous occasion.

This unforgettable evening is inspired by NOMA's fall exhibition, Seeing Nature: Landscape Masterworks from the Paul G. Allen Family Collection on view in Ella West Freeman Galleries. Co-organized by the Portland Art Museum, the Seattle Art Museum and the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, this exhibition examines the evolution of European and American landscape painting it features approximately 40 masterpieces spanning five centuries. All works are drawn from the collection of Microsoft co-founder, innovator and philanthropist Paul G. Allen. Featured artists include Jan Brueghel, Joseph Mallord William Turner, Claude Monet, Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh, Gustav Klimt, Georgia O'Keefe, Ed Ruscha, Gerhard Richter and more.

Odyssey guests will also enjoy George Dunbar: Elements of Chance, which surveys the career of George Dunbar (American, b. 1927), a New Orleans native who played a pivotal role in introducing abstract art to the South. Originally from New Orleans, Dunbar studied in Philadelphia and Paris before returning to Louisiana in the 1950s to create paintings, sculptures, assemblages and prints that marry the stark geometry of modern art with lush, organic materials that call forth Louisiana's swamps and bayous. This exhibition explores the evolution of Dunbar's art from the 1950s, when Dunbar participated in a joint exhibition in Philadelphia with American abstract painter Franz Kline, to his most recent body of work in clay relief. Dunbar's connection to richly textured works explore abstract art, landscape and place, and connect the strict geometry of much abstract painting to more organic forms and elemental processes. This exhibition examines the way Dunbar's explorations of landscape as a bridge-builder, landscape architect and urban planner inform his unique approach to abstract art.

About NOMA and the Besthoff Sculpture Garden

The New Orleans Museum of Art, founded in 1910 by Isaac Delgado, houses nearly 40,000 art objects encompassing 5,000 years of world art. Works from the permanent collection, along with continuously changing special exhibitions, are on view in the museum's 46 galleries Fridays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The adjoining Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden features work by over 60 artists, including several of the 20th century's master sculptors. The Sculpture Garden is open seven days a week: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The New Orleans Museum of Art and the Besthoff Sculpture Garden are fully accessible to handicapped visitors and wheelchairs are available from the front desk. For more information about NOMA, call (504) 658-4100 or visit Wednesdays are free admission days for Louisiana residents, courtesy of The Helis Foundation. (May not include special exhibitions.) Teenagers (ages 13-19) receive free admission every day through the end of the year, courtesy of The Helis Foundation.