New Orleans (July 23, 2020) — Ogden Museum of Southern Art announced today the artists selected for the 2020 edition of Louisiana Contemporary, presented by The Helis Foundation, the Museum’s annual juried exhibition featuring work by contemporary artists from across the state. This year’s guest juror, René Morales, Director of Curatorial Affairs and Chief Curator at Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), has selected 55 works by 56 artists from a total of 1,388 works by 363 artists. Louisiana Contemporary will be on view at Ogden Museum September 5 – February 7, 2021.
For the 2020 edition, Morales was attuned to artists and artworks that are actively engaging with this particular moment in American history, through different media and stylistic and technical approaches.
“I felt immeasurably honored to have been invited to jury the prestigious Louisiana Contemporary in this year of years,” says Morales. “Beyond purely aesthetic criteria, many of the selected works seem to have deeply absorbed the power and intensity of the current moment, while providing insight into Louisiana’s incredibly rich, multifaceted culture. Through this combination, a lucid picture emerges of how this exceedingly unique context has experienced the tragedies and turmoil that have accompanied the pandemic, and how profoundly and passionately it has internalized the struggle for justice and reform. As a whole, the works embody art’s unique ability to help us understand and process realities that we might otherwise be unable to grasp, much less express and discuss in a constructive manner.”
The full roster of 2020 artists includes:
Nic Brierre Aziz
Luis Cruz Azaceta
Charles Muir Lovell
Claire Christine Sargenti
Gailene St. Amand
Collaborative team: Cata Cowlen, Nelle Edge, Lacy Levin, Savannah Levin, Natalia Roa, Elias Serhan and Antonia Zennaro
Each year, with support from The Helis Foundation, the Ogden Museum honors four of the presenting artists, highlighting some of the most provocative and compelling works in the exhibition. The four awards come with cash prizes and special recognition at the Museum. The recipient of the lead award, The Helis Foundation Art Prize, will receive the unrestricted amount of $5,000. Award recipients will be announced after the juror’s review in late August, and will be formally recognized at the closing reception in 2021.
“Since its launch in 2012, Louisiana Contemporary has presented 729 works by 450 artists, and has provided an important platform for experiencing the depth and diversity of work being produced by Louisiana artists,” says William Pittman Andrews, Executive Director of Ogden Museum. “We are continuously inspired by the visions and innovations of the featured artists, whose work engages with formal and conceptual dialogues within contemporary practice, as well as with some of the most pressing social and political issues of our time. We are grateful to The Helis Foundation for their ongoing support for this initiative and to the artists who continue to challenge and compel us in new and exciting ways.”
In addition to René Morales, prior jurors have included David Breslin, Director of Curatorial Initiatives at the Whitney Museum of American Art; Courtney J. Martin, Director of the Yale Center for British Art and former Deputy Director and Chief Curator at the Dia Art Foundation; Shantrelle P. Lewis, an independent curator, author, and documentarian; and Bill Arning, former Director of Contemporary Arts Museum Houston.
About René Morales
René Morales is Director of Curatorial Affairs and Chief Curator at Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM). Morales has organized over 50 exhibitions for PAMM, including Meleko Mokgosi: Your Trip to Africa; Polyphonic: Celebrating PAMM’s Fund for African American Art; Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Surrounded Islands, 1980–1983; Dara Friedman: Perfect Stranger; A Human Document: Selections from the Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry; and Amelia Peláez: The Craft of Modernity. He has spearheaded the acquisition of hundreds of works for PAMM’s collection, and he played a pivotal role in PAMM’s transition into its Herzog and de Meuron-designed facility, which opened to the public in 2013. Prior to joining PAMM, he worked at the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, where he organized and co-organized several exhibitions, including Island Nations: New Art from Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico. Morales is a recipient of the 2019 Center for Curatorial Leadership Fellowship, as well as a 2019 Suncoast Emmy Award, which he received for producing the film Remembering Surrounded Islands. Morales teaches museum history and curatorial practice as Adjunct Professor at Florida International University, and he sits on several local and national boards and committees, including the Board of the City of Miami Art in Public Places program. Born in Cienfuegos, Cuba, René received his B.A. from Swarthmore College and his M.A. in Art History from Brown University.
About Ogden Museum
Located in the vibrant Warehouse Arts District of downtown New Orleans, Louisiana since 1999, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art welcomes 85,000 visitors annually to experience and learn about the artists and art movements of the American South. It is home to a collection of more than four thousand works, making it the largest and most comprehensive repository dedicated to Southern art in the nation, with particular strength in the genres of Self-Taught art, Regionalism, photography and contemporary art. The Museum is further recognized for its original exhibitions, public events and educational programs, which examine the development of visual art alongside Southern traditions of music, literature and local craft. Museum admission is free on Thursdays for Louisiana residents, courtesy of The Helis Foundation. The Museum is located at 925 Camp Street, New Orleans Louisiana 70130. For more information, visit www.ogdenmuseum.org.
About The Helis Foundation
The Helis Foundation is a Louisiana private foundation, established and funded by the William Helis Family. The Helis Foundation’s resources and objectives are divided into two areas: the general fund, and the Diana Helis Henry and Adrienne Helis Malvin Art Funds. The general fund focuses on community needs primarily within the Metropolitan New Orleans area by granting funds to numerous local nonprofit organizations.
The Art Funds were established by bequests from Diana Helis Henry and Adrienne Helis Malvin. The Art Funds make grants to sustain operations, to provide free admission to, and to acquire significant art works on behalf of major institutions within the Metropolitan New Orleans area. The Art Funds also underwrite major initiatives and special projects, such as Prospect.3’s Basquiat and the Bayou presented by The Helis Foundation, the ongoing Poydras Corridor Sculpture Exhibition presented by The Helis Foundation, the installation of Lynda Benglis’ The Wave of the World in City Park, The Helis Foundation Enrique Alférez Sculpture Garden, Solidary & Solitary: The Joyner/Giuffrida Collection presented by The Helis Foundation organized by the Ogden Museum of Southern Art and the Baltimore Museum of Art, and The Historic New Orleans Collection’s Tricentennial Exhibition, Art of the City: Post Modern to Post Katrina. In 2019, the Foundation launched the first large-scale mural exhibit: Unframed presented by The Helis Foundation, a collection of five murals in Downtown New Orleans. In partnership with the Arts Council New Orleans, Unframed features the first Southern U.S. commission by internationally-acclaimed artist Fujiko Nakaya at the Louisiana Children’s Museum. Most recently, The Helis Foundation served as the presenting sponsor for Ogden Museum’s exhibition, Melvin Edwards: Crossroads presented by The Helis Foundation.