John R. Kemp
John R. Kemp writes about Southern artists for various regional and national magazines. The most recent of his 15 books are Expressions of Place: The Contemporary Louisiana Landscape (2016) and A Unique Slant of Light: The Bicentennial History of Art in Louisiana (co-ed., 2012). Kemp is the New Orleans correspondent for ARTnews magazine, art columnist for Louisiana Life magazine, and covers the New Orleans art scene for the WYES public television show, Steppin’ Out.
1 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.
State Capitol, House Committee Room 5
Expressions of Place
2 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.
Barnes & Noble Bookselling Tent
Expressions of Place: The Contemporary Louisiana Landscape
Expressions of Place embarks on a journey across the rural and urban landscapes of Louisiana via the talents of thirty-seven artists located all around the state. Many are acclaimed professionals whose paintings are included in major private and public collections regionally and nationally. Others have found their followings closer to home. All, however, strive to express impressions of the land with artistic styles that range from traditional to the symbolic and almost totally abstract. Such a variety of interpretation becomes possible in a landscape that changes from dark cypress-shrouded bayous, trembling earth, grassy prairies, the gritty streets of inner city New Orleans to vast wind-swept coastal marshes and the piney hills of north and central Louisiana.
Rather than stand as an encyclopedia, catalog, or history of the visual arts in Louisiana, Kemp’s book is instead a celebration of the state’s evocative landscape in the work of accomplished contemporary artists. It includes an introductory essay, which places these creators and their works in historical context. Expressions of Place provides readers with individual essays and biographical sketches in which the artists, in their own words, give insight as to what they paint, how they paint, where they paint, and why they are drawn to the Louisiana landscape. Particularly inspiring, the artists discuss their interpretations of that landscape directly with the viewing audience.
Expressions of Place remains as much about the landscape of the artists’ imaginations as it is about the land itself. With each painting, they have created visual poetry of a land and environment that has become a defining part of their lives.
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