Lichtenstein: A New Look For The Front of NOMA

As you enter the Park from the main entrance and drive down Lelong, you will notice construction in front of The New Orleans Museum of Art. The front area of the museum is getting a new look and at the center of the new look is a new piece of art.

Construction on the site has been going on for weeks. Fueling speculation as to which sculpture will have a new home in the Park, black drapes are placed around the construction area.

Construction in front of NOMA

Been curious as to what work of art will be at the entrance to The New Orleans Museum of Art? The wait is over! The New Orleans Museum of Art announced today a major work called Five Brushstrokes by Roy Lichtenstein will be installed in front of NOMA by the end of 2013. Five Brushstrokes, 1984 (Fabricated 2010), is a gift of Sydney and Walda Besthoff and partial gift of the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation.

Five Brushstrokes

According to NOMA’s press release on October 14, 2013:

**Five Brushstrokes is a large-scale, 20-foot tall painted aluminum sculpture, composed of five brushstrokes created in Lichtenstein’s characteristic Pop art style. The sculpture effectively translates the liquid, two-dimensional form of paint into a three-dimensional monumental work. The brushstrokes, each representing a color, are stacked atop each other creating a strong vertical image.

“The Foundation is pleased to be able to assist by gifting part of this work to the New Orleans Museum of Art in partnership with Mr. and Mrs. Sydney Besthoff,” said Jack Cowart, Executive Director, Roy Lichtenstein Foundation. “Along America’s southern tier, with Lichtenstein outdoor sculptures of other styles and subjects in Dallas, Atlanta and Miami Beach, it is a wonderful opportunity to have this Five Brushstrokes sculpture find such a happy home in New Orleans.”

Roy Lichtenstein, a Manhattan-born artist, was pivotal in shaping the landscape of Pop art in the 1950s and 1960s. Working amidst New York contemporaries such as Andy Warhol and Robert Rauschenberg, Lichtenstein was inspired by comic book illustrations and the Ben-Day dot printing pattern found in these inexpensive publications. He used this aesthetic in his paintings and sculptures, playing upon the exaggerated emotions of his source material. Lichtenstein drew upon the artistic climate of his time and the works of old masters to reflect the cultural perspective of the United States after World War II. The brushstroke for Lichtenstein became a cultural symbol representing the singularity and freedom of the individual, as well as a reference to the importance of the artist’s hand in the creative process.

“We are delighted to receive this major work by one of the most important artists of the 20th century,” said Susan M. Taylor, The Montine McDaniel Freeman Director. “We are grateful to Sydney and Walda Besthoff and the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation for their partnership in making this acquisition possible. Its placement in front of the museum will ensure that it will be appreciated and enjoyed by generations of visitors for many years to come. We are honored to be able to showcase Roy Lichtenstein’s work here at NOMA.”**

Congratulations NOMA!

Wave

Missing Lin Emery’s ‘Wave’ that was in front of the museum? No need to miss it – it’s in the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden.  The Sculpture Garden features works 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. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. It’s free admission to enter! Meander down the paths looking at the many works of art and exit the back of the garden to walk to Morning Call for hot beignets and café au lait.

Spanish Moss and Resurrection Fern at City Park

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Spanish Moss and Resurrection Fern are often found growing on the oaks of New Orleans City Park. Both plants are epiphytic. Epiphytic plants absorb all nutrients from the air and do not harm the tree that supports them.

Spanish Moss and Resurrection Fern

Spanish Moss (Tillandsia usneoides), with silver gray threadlike stems, hangs in long graceful streams from the trees. It is a member of the Bromelaid family and produces a small yellow flower. It has long been associated with the beauty of the trees of the Deep South. Since the time of the early settlers, it has had numerous commercial uses. At one time it was used to stuff upholstery. Today, it is primarily used by nurseries and flower shops.

Spanish Moss and Resurrection Fern

Resurrection Fern (Polypodium polypodioides Watt) is found growing on the trucks and branches of the oaks. It gets its name ‘resurrection’ from the way the fern acts during weather patterns at the Park. If you visit the Park during a dry period, it will be brown and shriveled. It will appear to be dead. Following a rain, that same fern will be green and lush. It is Louisiana’s only epiphytic fern. It certainly adds a special grace to the oaks in the Park.

** If you find Spanish Moss or Resurrection Fern in the Park, please don’t remove it from its home. **

To learn more about the trees of City Park, click here.