Natalie Sciortino-Rinehart

  • picks February 05, 2012

    Rachel Jones

    Remember your mortality. Rachel Jones’s exhibition “Memento Mori” reworks the bulwark of art-historical iconography associated with this phrase into an absorbing display of postmodern devotion infused with reincarnations of romanticism. The show’s title painting reveals a funereal floral display of golden mums, pastel pink azaleas, and a variety of other flowers that incorporate areas of fuchsia, green, and taupe. Below the image, in altarlike fashion, sit several lit candles on a simple white shelf. The fleeting beauty of a bouquet underscored by the diminishing flames sets the tone for an

  • picks May 13, 2010

    Shawne Major

    Shawne Major’s latest exhibition offers plastic-heavy sculptures that are installed like prized pelts of kitsch around this gallery. While her candied skins recall El Anatsui’s tapestried sheaths, these works serve up a heightened sense of chaotic accumulation. Scavenged from sources such as computer hardware and dollar stores, each wall hanging contains innumerable baubles: curlers, beads, acrylic nails, computer circuits, zippers, rubber snakes, and other miniature objects, which are stitched together coarsely and gracefully onto repurposed fabrics of feminine origins such as panty hose and

  • picks July 03, 2009

    John Barnes Jr.

    As the fourth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina approaches, local artist John Barnes Jr. presents “Eschatology,” a dutiful reminder of the past and present struggles of New Orleans. Dozens of crudely hewn wooden structures are erected like totemic headstones around the gallery. These altars take various shapes: There are abstracted heads in the series “Hooded Lilliputian Gangster,” 2009, boats and houses within works like Canoe/Shotgun Hybrid, 2008, and in Inequity Loft Towers, 2009. Despite ranging in size from ten inches to six feet, they maintain one constant: monumentality. The structures

  • picks May 29, 2009

    Ariya Martin

    Ariya Martin introduces evocative, sexually explicit themes in her first solo exhibition, “See Saw.” In the large installation, Erotica for you . . . to take back since it was never mine (all works 2009), hundreds of letter-size papers line the walls in rows and wrap around the U-shaped gallery. On some pages, the text is printed in ink, while on others it has been extracted. Patterns arise that create a rhythmic undercurrent to the whole piece. The text is legible in standard left-to-right fashion, but sentence structures can also be gleaned if the pages are read alternately between pairs of

  • picks May 08, 2009

    Kara Hearn

    Pathos––the ever-relevant Aristotelian mode of rhetorical persuasion. In her video One Thing After Another, 2007, the only work on view in this solo exhibition, Kara Hearn employs the pathetic in universal and personal ways. The artist performs as the entire cast of characters from popular films and moments from everyday life, focusing on climatic moments of personal trauma for each character. The successive clips form an engaging montage that highlights the ways in which audiences become both the initiator and the receptor of pathos. While navigating the nature of sympathy and empathy through

  • picks March 17, 2009

    Stephen Sollins

    This exhibition offers exceptional pieces by Stephen Sollins from the past six years. His recent works integrate found printed paper and acetate from the interiors of envelopes. While obsessive and methodical, these constructions transform the envelopes’ often strange and beautiful prints into elaborate geometric patterns and an allover tapestried field. With titles like Jack’s House and Grandfather’s Garden (both works 2008), Sollins’s quiltlike pieces nearly domesticate any conceptual climax, yet they retain a truly kinetic space punctuated with the multitude of narratives that might exist

  • picks March 13, 2009

    “Score & Script: Music in Video”

    In this exhibition, curator Claire Tancons gathers artists, musicians, DJs, and VJs for a symphonic panorama of current issues within each discipline. The predominance of sound-based collaborations in the show actually offers a balanced and cohesive dialogue between the various artists and their respective media. One beautiful fusion is Courtney Egan’s video installation Early Spring, 2009. Cords and wires descend from the ceiling, several ending in a broken yet functioning speaker on the floor. Clunky AC adapters provide a dramatic break in this otherwise delicate transversal of lines, drawing

  • picks January 15, 2009

    Brian Guidry

    Flanked by two tourist meccas, the French Quarter and the Riverfront, Brian Guidry’s covert installation SURGE, 2008, is cleverly ensconced beneath the Washington Artillery Park’s steps. Given a militaristic title that befits its context, SURGE also implies other inundations of destruction and force. Dozens of objects ranging in volume and shape emerge in this hidden space: a sink, a door, barrels, wheels, pipes, balls, and oars are among the plethora of objects coated in a uniform khaki hue. The resurrected assembly merges with the setting, incorporating the adjoining wrought-iron fence,

  • picks November 21, 2008

    Mel Chin

    New Orleans is one of the most lead-polluted cities in the US. Nearly eighty-six thousand regional properties don't meet EPA lead standards. Addressing this environmental hazard is Mel Chin’s Safehouse, 2008, a residence painted completely white, on a once-abandoned lot in the neighborhood of St. Roch. An enormous, circular portion of this tabula rasa–cum–house facade has been cut out and mounted on a massive hinge, to form a mammoth bank-vault-like door that opens onto a mostly barren front yard sprinkled with jagged green shrubbery. In an elaborate performance piece enacted during the opening

  • picks October 03, 2008

    “stitch”

    Despite this exhibition’s title and all-female list of local participants, curator Susan Gisleson presents a narrative that reaches beyond simple gender declaratives to richness, subtlety, and irony. The metaphor of the stitch—a process turned object—provides seemingly infinite points of interface between artist and material, and stitches themselves serve as agents of restoration and re-creation, whether it be through mending a lost seam or fashioning a new habitation.

    Life and death, creation and destruction, are more than simply overused conceptual themes when considered in the midst of an

  • picks August 28, 2008

    Robert Tannen

    Stardust is molecular debris from dead stars, which scientists theorize combined to form the universe. Thus, “dust to dust” becomes a proverb that addresses both spiritual and secular concerns, as does Robert Tannen in the wide range of works on view in this exhibition. This cyclic metamorphosis is also evident in the way the artist extrapolates new meaning and form from refuse, found objects, and regional signifiers. Richly layered and extensive, this retrospective offers the viewer a stellar cross-section of the artist’s own transformative processes throughout his nearly fifty-year career.

  • picks July 23, 2008

    “The Great White”

    In this exhibition, curator Srdjan Loncar subtly fills the gallery with flags, but not exactly the types readily imagined. Human figures serve as emblems of, simultaneously, existence and ideologies. Deploying simple transformations—reduction, concealment, exposure—artists Rajko Radovanovic, Yevgeniy Ampleyev, Mayumi Hamanaka, and Taro Hattori traverse the loaded territories of human rights, power, propaganda, and perversion.

    New Altars of the Temple of Happiness #57, 2008, by Radovanovic, a Croatian artist, dominates the gallery. The left-hand rectangular panel of the looming triptych presents

  • picks May 16, 2008

    Iva Gueorguieva

    With Cy Twombly–esque energy and the mischievous lushness of Cecily Brown, Los Angeles–based artist Iva Gueorguieva launches into her canvases, and the results juxtapose curious, self-conscious markings and sweeping brushstrokes. In Vespers Pageant, 2007, both title and image indicate an elusive dichotomy. The artist offers seemingly innocent abstract fields of blue, green, and purple forms that are in fact inscribed with highly sexual contour line imagery. While evening church services often provide a theater for such pageantry, those conducting the vespers would probably not equate the secular

  • picks April 09, 2008

    Dan Tague

    On entering Dan Tague’s new exhibition, one is surrounded by enlarged images of US currency—one-, five-, ten-, and twenty-dollar bills that have been crumpled, folded, and twisted. Their initial allure is quickly undermined by the sobering phrases appearing between the creases: OSAMA WARS, GOD IS AMERICAN, HUNT FOR OIL, SERVE THE STATE, HOME IS A TENT, STATE OF FEAR, TRUST NO ONE. Tague works within the parameters of the currency itself—its reminder of such American values as annuity coeptis, e pluribus unum, and “In God We Trust”—to reveal his own perspective on our governmental system.

    The

  • picks March 19, 2008

    David Sullivan

    David Sullivan’s exhibition, “You Win,” playfully and provocatively utilizes a variety of digital media and animation. Like any successful satirist, Sullivan executes his visual commentary on consumer culture through its own modes of production. Vibrant prints on die-cut aluminum showcase icons from early arcade games, while two animations, Market Drop and Boom, both 2007, depict the effects of our country’s cultural and political exports. The show fulfills its promising title, as viewers are invited to interact with a custom-designed arcade game reduced to its essential function in providing