Artists Reception: Thursday, October 24, 6:00-8:00pm
Octavia Art Gallery is pleased to present re-viv-al, an exhibition featuring works by New Orleans based artists Aaron Collier and Dan Tague.
re-viv-al: restoration, the state of being revived; to be renewed in the mind or memory; renewed pursuit, or cultivation, or flourishing state of something, as of arts, commerce, agriculture
In 2017, both Aaron Collier and Dan Tague experienced meaningful encounters that resulted in a dedicated series of work.
Moved to ponder age-old mysteries, these artists utilize painting as a mechanism for retrospection and reconstruction of their experiences.
“The “Everything You Need to Know” website that intends to prepare visitors to Palatine Hill in Rome offers the following caution: “Without a guide or guidebook, it can be difficult to make sense of the ruins of the Palatine… you don’t want to be one of those tourists who wanders aimlessly around the hill, with no idea of what they’re looking at.”
In September of 2017, Collier found himself to be just exactly that, a tourist without the benefit of a guide. It was the challenge of making sense of Palatine’s excavations and ruins, with their innumerable fragments, pieces, and remains, the profound inability to explain away or see through every layer, the overwhelming sense of bewilderment and mystery, that inspired the series Of Rocks and Ruins.
With these works, Collier implements several modes of image making towards squaring with the central questions that drive his research: “What to do with a small and incomplete knowledge of a vast, complex, and multivalent world? How are images, which are inherently shards or snippets of information, able to convey this inability to know in full?”.
The works included in re·viv·al mark a dedicated return to painting for Tague, whose studio was devastated by hurricane Katrina in 2005. An unanticipated moment during an afternoon trip to the New Orleans Museum of Art in the summer of 2017, served to rekindle his painterly tendencies.
“Walking into the New Orleans Museum of Art one will initially encounter the Great Hall: marble floor, Ionic columns, a grand stair case, wrap around balcony, and an atrium overhead. It was the latter that inspired this series of paintings.”
The artist found this unintended masterpiece of reductive art, composed of several rows of windows accompanied by hinged acoustic panels, confronting their fate in the face of the endless sky visible through the windowpanes, to be a sublime metaphor for our own divide of mind and body, and the daily struggle to harmonize the two. The series, Imposing Concourse, attempts to capture the atmosphere and sentiment of that inspiring summer afternoon.
Aaron Collier received his MFA from Tulane University. He has had solo exhibitions at Cole Pratt Gallery, and Octavia Art Gallery, New Orleans. He has participated in recent group exhibitions at The Clemente in New York and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans. Additionally, his work has been featured in New American Paintings and is represented in such collections as the New Orleans Museum of Art, Iberia Bank, and the Boston Medical Center. Collier has been awarded artist residencies by the Ragdale Foundation, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Joan Mitchell Center (New Orleans), ISCP (Brooklyn), and Open Ateliers Zuidoost (Amsterdam).
Dan Tague received his MFA from the University of New Orleans. Tague’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. His work is included in numerous private and public collections including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the New Orleans Museum of Art, The Speed Museum of Art, Luciano Benetton Collection, Frederick R. Weisman Foundation, West Collection, and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. Tague has been awarded artist residencies by LA Artworks (New Orleans), Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (New York), KALA Art Institute (Berkeley), LaNapoule Art Foundation (LaNapoule FR), Santa Fe Art Institute (Santa Fe), and Johnson Atelier Technical Institute, Grounds For Sculpture (Hamilton, NJ)