“Lifelike” & Odyssey Ball

On view November 11 to January 27, Lifelike explores the boundaries between the real and fabricated in the work of over 50 artists from around the globe. Artists featured in the exhibition Include Andy Warhol, Ai Weiwei, Charles Ray, James Casebere, Thomas Demand, Susan Collins, and Vija Clemins.

Get first looks at Likelike during NOMA’s Off The Wall Odyssey Ball! Thanks to our generous Odyssey Ball underwriters, Lupin Foundation and Peoples Health. Thanks to IBERIABANK for sponsoring the VIP Lounge this year dubbed the Brillo Pad.

(New Orleans, LA) – Featuring installations, paintings, sculpture, photography, drawings, and video, Lifelike explores how artists from around the globe use scale, unusual materials, and sly contextual devices to manufacture “authenticity.” Taking as their subject matter commonplace objects such as paper bags, erasers, apple cores, and waiting rooms as well as ephemeral moments, such as afternoon naps, the featured artists create works that are startlingly realistic and frequently playful and surreal. On view at the New Orleans Museum Art from November 11, 2012 to January 27, 2013, Lifelike invites audiences to closely examine the works on exhibit and to explore the boundary between the “real” and “created.”

Lifelike is one of the first museum presentations to specifically gather the work of artists who have eschewed technological advances in favor of meticulous, handcrafted processes, and fused them with the subject matter of the everyday. It includes over 90 works, created from the 1960s to the present, by more than 50 artists, including Vija Celmins, Susan Collis, Keith Edmier, Fischli and Weiss, Robert Gober, Alex Hay, Kaz Oshiro, Charles Ray, and Ai Weiwei. In presenting recent work against a backdrop of 1960s and 1970s artists, Lifelike addresses work by several generations who have laid claim to this territory.

“Although the subject matter of the works explored in Lifelike is subtle and simple, once transformed by the hands of the featured artists, there is a real poignancy that we rarely recognize in the mundane objects and situations of our daily lives,” said Susan Taylor, NOMA Director. “That’s what makes the experience of this exhibition so exciting and we are delighted to provide the New Orleans community with the opportunity to engage with the works of these artists.”

The exhibition explores the many ways artists have pursued handmade realism through a range of media.

  • Some artists featured, such as Vija Celmins and Peter Rostovsky, paint from photographs, creating immersive surfaces that exhibit an astonishing degree of likeness and detail.
  • Others work in sculpture, often fashioning their works from materials that belie the pedestrian nature of the subject-Ai Weiwei’s jar of hundreds of sunflower seeds, made from hand-painted cast porcelain, or the work of Yoshihiro Suda, who creates weeds that “grow” from the gallery floor, carved by hand from magnolia wood.
  • In video, artists including Thomas Demand and Jeon Joonho create moving images that at first seem familiar, but deceive us through sly use of animation.
  • In photography, artists including James Casebere and Isaac Layman play with the hyperreal, through fabricated scenes or clever layering of images.
  • Most of the artists break from a reliance on technological intervention, creating objects of fixation and desire: Catherine Murphy’s details of textured fabric on the seat of a chair, or Ron Mueck’s strikingly “real” sculpture-down to the last hair and pore-of human subjects. Frequently these artists work from photographs, but just as often, their inspiration is the observed world, and the notion that a tangible, perhaps ephemeral object or moment can somehow be brought back to life-reinterpreted through the artist’s hand as re-made readymades.

The exhibition is organized by the Walker Art Center and will travel to the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego (February 24 – May 26, 2013), and the Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, Texas (June 23 – September 29, 2013), following its presentation at NOMA.

Exhibition Catalogue
The exhibition is accompanied by a 200-page, fully illustrated publication bringing together a range of scholarly contributors including curator Siri Engberg; Michael Lobel, associate professor of art history at the State University of New York at Purchase; Rochelle Steiner, dean of the Roski School of Art at the University of Southern California; and artist Josiah McElheny. The catalogue also includes a series of “Object Lessons,” statements from a selection of artists featured in the exhibition about the process and meaning behind their work. Distributed by D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers, Inc., and available at NOMA’s Museum Shop, (504) 658-4133. $35 ($31.50 NOMA members).

Exhibition Curator
Lifelike is curated by Siri Engberg, Visual Arts Curator at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN.
Odyssey Ball
Saturday, November 10, 2012: Odyssey Ball

Thanks to Odyssey Ball lead sponsors, Lupin Foundation and People’s Health.
Contribute to Odyssey at the $1000 level and enjoy theIBERIABANK VIP Lounge called the Brillo Pad.

Exhibition Events
Saturday, November 17, 2012, 2 pm. Stern Auditorium: Conversation with Siri Engberg of the Walker Art Center, artist James Casebere and art writer Cameron Shaw of PelicanBomb.com. This artist panel is part of a day-long Lifelike Family Day celebration.

Lifelike Family Day Schedule of Events on Saturday, November 17
10 am to 12 pm: Caricaturist
10 am to 12 pm: Uncle Wayne on Piano
10 am to 2 pm: BIG & small Drawings and Sculpting Faux Food – Lifelike inspired Art Making
11 am: StoryQuest: “Alice in Wonderland” presented by Skin Horse Theater
12 pm to 2pm: Dixie Land Jazz Quartet: “Hot Potatoes”
2 pm: A panel discussion on Lifelike featuring Siri Engberg, curator at the Walker Art Center, Cameron Shaw, editor of Pelican Bomb, and artist James Casebere

Exhibition Sponsors
Lifelike is organized by the Walker Art Center and made possible by generous support from:
John L. Thomson
Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts

Additional support for the presentation at NOMA is provided by:
Donna Perret Rosen and Benjamin M. Rosen
International Matex Tank Terminals
Anonymous Donor

Accompanying programmatic support for NOMA is provided by Chevron:
Lifelike Family Day on November 16th, 2012
Artist’s Perspective on December 7th, 2012

NOMA Admission
Wednesdays are FREE for all museum visitors. Adults, $10; Seniors (65 and up) and Students, $8; Children 7-17, $6; Children 6 and under, free.

About NOMA and the Besthoff Sculpture Garden
The New Orleans Museum of Art, founded in 1910 by Isaac Delgado, houses over 35,000 art objects encompassing 4,000 years of world art. Works from the permanent collection, along with continuously changing temporary exhibitions, are on view in the Museum’s 46 galleries Fridays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Tuesdays to Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The adjacent Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden features work by over 60 artists, including several of the 20th century’s master sculptors. The Sculpture Garden is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. except for Fridays when it’s open until 8:45 p.m. The New Orleans Museum of Art and the Besthoff Sculpture Garden are fully accessible to handicapped visitors and wheelchairs are available from the front desk. For more information about NOMA, call (504) 658-4100 or visit www.noma.org.