Next Newcomb exhibits offer art with wonder and mystery

January 19, 2016 8:45 AM

Hannah Dean

“I Wonder” is the title of the Newcomb Art Museum exhibit by artist Andrea Dezsö, whose work All Beings, above, is among art on display, as well as pop-up books, sculpture and embroidery. Much like former Newcomb College artists, Dezsö takes traditional “female” applied arts and revises them. (Image from the Newcomb Art Museum)

“Through this exhibition, we hope to put Andrea and Kate’s work in dialogue with that of the ladies of the Newcomb Enterprise.”

Monica Ramirez-Montagut, director, Newcomb Art Museum

Art lovers have twice the reason to visit the Newcomb Art Museum when its newest show opens on Wednesday (Jan 20). Vivid works by two contemporary female artists will be on display in very different yet related exhibits, “I Wonder” by Andrea Dezsö and “Mysterious Presences” by Kate Clark.

Clark creates “unsettling taxidermy sculptures, part human, part animal,” according to descriptions from the exhibit. Dezsö combines art, design and craft using a variety of media, from pop-up books to sculpture to embroidery.

Both exhibits provide very different experiences, but the two artists are connected through their modernization of traditional crafts, says Monica Ramirez-Montagut, museum director. Their works also demonstrate how humans are interdependent with the animal kingdom and the natural world, she says.

The title “I Wonder” for Dezsö’s works highlights the wondrous elements of her work, and asks the audience to observe her pieces with a touch of whimsy and imagination, Ramirez-Montagut says.

One notable show piece by Dezsö is a large diorama that displays a magical forest-like land with paper figures that appear to be hybrids of human and forest animals. A vinyl mural of the same figures can be seen on the storefront windows of Tulane City Center, 1725 Baronne St,. in an effort on behalf the museum to serve off-campus audiences.

Dezsö says she was inspired to create these creatures by historic drawings of Mardi Gras krewes and floats from the Louisiana Research Collection at Tulane University. Selections of those drawings — designs from the 1892 Proteus parade, “Dream of the Vegetable Kingdom” — are also on display at the museum.

“The people in these drawings dressed in animal and vegetation costumes, which indicated that we humans are just small inhabitants of a much larger world, rather than the kings of a universe,” Dezsö says. She hopes that her audience will see that there is a space where adults can take imagination very seriously, as these krewes did a century ago.

The exhibits will be on display through April 9 at the museum in the Woldenberg Art Center on the Tulane University uptown campus.

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000