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Exhibition explores abstraction based on experimental, process-oriented methods
Alyse Rosner, Cat's Cradle, 2017. Graphite and fluid acrylic on raw canvas, 74 x 97 inches.

NEW ORLEANS, LA.- Honoring the Newcomb College legacy of focusing on women artists, the Newcomb Art Museum of Tulane University presents Unfamiliar Again: Contemporary Women Abstractionists from August 24 through December 23, 2017.

The exhibition features the work of seven artists who hail from across the United States: Rachel Beach, Morgan Blair, Amy Ellingson, Brittany Nelson, Alyse Rosner, Barbara Takenaga, and Anne Vieux. Their works defamiliarize common imagery, precluding figurative recognition and easy comprehension.

Museum director Monica Ramirez-Montagut explains, “This is a timely exhibition with major institutions increasingly looking at the history of women abstractionists.” Such examinations, she adds, “offer a critical counterbalance to the longstanding narrative of male artists working within the abstract tradition.”

Newcomb’s inclusion of contemporary artists—whether established, mid-career, or emerging—and a focus on creative processes that utilize current digital technologies distinguish Unfamiliar Again. Other recent museum shows have primarily showcased art works created a half a century ago.

The methods of the exhibition’s artists are nuanced, time-intensive, and often drawn from unlikely modernized sources. These include “DIY” videos on YouTube, Photoshop errors, digital distortions, smart phone apps, and manipulated or synthetic materials such as scanned iridescent paper and digitally printed faux suede.

Ramirez-Montagut continues, “By devoting themselves to process, these artists experience revelation in the deliberate progression of steps of creative expression. Yet such discovery may remain elusive—even unfamiliar—for viewers as the artists encourage inquiry rather than immediate, cohesive answers.”

The exhibition reception will take place on Wednesday, September 6 with two events that are free and open to the public. Starting at 6:30 pm, exhibition artists Amy Ellingson, Anne Vieux, and Brittany Nelson will speak about their work with museum director Monica Ramirez-Montagut. Sculptor Dee Briggs, whose Three Rings 6’ Diameter is currently installed in front of the museum, will also join the conversation. The talk will take place in the Woldenberg Art Center’s Freeman Auditorium. The public reception will follow from 7:30 until 9 pm in the art center’s Woodward Way Breezeway.

This exhibition is made possible through the generous support of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Jennifer Wooster (NC ’91), Don Peters (A&S ’81), Newcomb College Institute of Tulane University, Ms. Valerie A. Besthoff, and the Newcomb Art Museum advisory board.

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