The New Orleans Museum of Art Presents George Rodrigue’s Louisiana: Forty Years of Cajuns, Blue Dogs and Beyond Katrina
Work of Louisiana’s most famous contemporary artist to be featured in retrospective
NEW ORLEANS – Beginning March 2, 2008, the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) will host a retrospective featuring the work of famed Louisiana artist George Rodrigue, best known for his now-iconic Blue Dog series. The exhibition, which will run until June 8, will feature over forty years of Rodrigue’s work showcasing his evolution as Louisiana’s most famous contemporary artist.
“George Rodrigue is a Louisiana treasure,” said NOMA Director E. John Bullard, “and the museum is proud to showcase the past forty years of his work. From the Blue Dog and Louisiana landscapes to hurricanes and scenes of Cajun life, George Rodrigue’s art epitomizes a culture that is distinctly Louisianian.”
The three-month exhibition will include nearly two hundred original works which have been borrowed from private and public collections across the country. Highlights include Watchdog, his very first Blue Dog painting, Jolie Blonde and The Aioli Dinner as well as commissions for Neiman Marcus and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, presidential portraits and pieces from the Hurricanes and Bodies series. Early works, sketch books and memorabilia from the artist’s personal collection will also be featured.
“This is not your typical exhibition,” says Rodrigue, “anyone who knows my art realizes that my greatest influence is Louisiana, so it is particularly exciting to be featured by the New Orleans Museum of Art.”
Rodrigue, a native of New Iberia, Louisiana, the heart of “Cajun country,” began painting Oak trees in the early 1970’s before expanding his creations to include his interpretations of various myths and Cajun scenes. His paintings are credited with heralding a revival of Cajun culture that swept the country.
In the 1980’s, Rodrigue’s Blue Dog, based on the Cajun legend of a loup-garou or werewolf, first appeared, and the series catapulted him to a new level of fame in the art world. Other works include portraits of famous Louisianians and presidents, posters for various Louisiana and events and, most recently, and abstract series interpreting hurricanes.
In 2006, Rodrigue was featured in the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism’s “Come Fall in Love with Louisiana All Over Again” campaign. The campaign’s goal was to reignite the state’s tourism industry following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and Rodrigue was the sole representative from the visual arts community.
For the Rodrigue exhibition, Admission for Louisiana adults is $5.00 (seniors 65 and older $4.00) and $10.00 for non-residents (seniors 65 and older $9.00.) All children under 18 are admitted free courtesy of The Helis Foundation. NOMA is open five days a week, Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
An audio tour of the exhibition featuring commentary from the artist and his wife Wendy Rodrigue, is available with admission.
The exhibition is sponsored by Lakeside Shopping Center and The Feil Organization.
Editor’s Note: Images from the exhibition and a full list of works are available at www.noma.org/press.