Monday, January 12, 2009

Gulf Coast Artists


Three years after Katrina, Mississippi's coast line is still a mixture of bare foundations, casinos and condos. While building codes and insurance cost are changing the look of the coast line, there is still the magic of the open water, sea birds and sun. A great part of the special magic of the Mississippi Gulf Coast is its 20th century artistic heritage. American Masters of the Mississippi Gulf Coast by Patti Carr Black is a good introduction to that heritage.

The four artists featured here were all immensely talented and renowned creative spirits. Potter George Ohr's artistic status was actually harmed by his outrageous showmanship. He was a Dali-like character, continually promoting himself. Later, critics rediscovered his work and found it to actually live up to his opinion of himself.

Dusti Bonge was an early abstract expressionist who worked through other "movements" and came into her own after her artist husband died young. Her work was exhibited in New York with the big names of the modernists.

Walter Anderson is to me one of the most important artists of the 20th century. His work is unique and original--two words that are tossed around too freely concerning art, but in this case are applicable.

Richmond Barthe was a part of the Harlem Renaissance, when African American artists came to the forefront of American art. His sculpture, while classically inspired realism, brought him great acclaim.

This book is a good start in considering the work of these artists. The library has lots of additional works for more in depth study. Just ask, we're glad to help you find anything you're looking for.

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