The New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) presents Regina Agu: Passage, an immersive, site-specific installation created by contemporary artist Regina Agu, on view November 22, 2019, through February 10, 2020. Inspired by the historical form of the panorama, Agu’s 100-foot-long installation weaves together imagery of waterways across Louisiana in an effort to explore how the landscapes, people and histories of the region are connected by and through water. Agu’s installation is created to coincide with Inventing Acadia: Painting and Place in Louisiana, the first major exhibition on Louisiana landscape painting in more than 40 years on view November 16, 2019, through January 26, 2020.
“Framed by the neoclassical architecture of NOMA’s Great Hall, Regina Agu’s work raises questions of present-day environmental concerns, and also prompts visitors to consider how we are connected and impacted by water,” said Susan Taylor, NOMA’s Montine McDaniel Freeman Director. “We are delighted to present this timely and important installation in juxtaposition with Inventing Acadia.”
As Agu’s first solo museum exhibition, Passage mines histories of landscape painting to explore the unique social and political geographies of the Gulf Coast, revealing the complex global histories that mark the landscape and environment of the region. Through a partnership between NOMA and A Studio in the Woods, an artist residency program in Louisiana focused around art and environment, Agu revisited many of the sites painted by the nineteenth-century artists in Inventing Acadia, traveling by water from the Gulf of Mexico all the way to Louisiana’s more inland lakes, rivers, levees, and canals. Passage explores issues ranging from land loss and environmental degradation to the legacies of slavery and colonialism and showing how these intertwined histories are reflected in Louisiana’s landscapes today.
“Passage is the culmination of months of site visits and research into the historical and contemporary waterways that intersect with New Orleans and the surrounding region,” said Regina Agu. “I'm very excited to present this work at NOMA as part of my continued exploration of the unique histories and geographies of the Gulf Coast.”
Regina Agu: Passage was created in partnership with A Studio in the Woods, through an artist residency.
Inventing Acadia Exhibition Catalogue
Inventing Acadia: Painting and Place in Louisiana will be accompanied by a major scholarly publication distributed by Yale University Press featuring five thematic essays from emerging scholars who present new approaches to the field of 19th-century landscape painting. Katie A. Pfohl will place Louisiana landscape art into a broader national and international context, Kelly Presutti will consider the influence of Barbizon painting in France on artists in New Orleans, Anna Arabadan-Kesson and Mia L. Bagneris will examine connections between landscape representation in New Orleans and the Caribbean and global histories of colonialism and slavery, Aurora Avilés García will explore the artistic interchange between Mexico and New Orleans during the 1884 World’s Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition, and Ryan Dennis will contribute an interview with the artist Regina Agu on her Great Hall installation.
About NOMA and the Besthoff Sculpture Garden
The New Orleans Museum of Art, founded in 1910 by Isaac Delgado, houses more than 40,000 works of art encompassing 5,000 years of history. Works from the permanent collection, along with continuously changing special exhibitions, are on view in the museum's 46 galleries Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., select Fridays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. NOMA offers docent-guided tours at 1 p.m. Tuesday - Sunday. The adjoining Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden features work by more than 85 artists, including several 20th and 21st-century master sculptors. NOMA’s Besthoff Sculpture Garden is free and open to the public seven days a week: 10 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) 6584100 or visit www.noma.org. Museum admission is free on Wednesdays for Louisiana residents, courtesy of The Helis Foundation. Children 12 and under receive free admission. Teenagers (ages 13-19) receive free admission courtesy of The Helis Foundation.
Contact: Margaux Krane
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