Saturday, September 22, 2012

Art review: Nudes upstairs, almost-nudes downstairs: Meadows Museum, Centenary College, offers Shreveport provocative images in work by Rachul McClintic and Monica Zeringue

Meadows Museum of Art, Centenary College, currently has nudes upstairs and almost-nudes downstairs. If you have ever thought of Meadows as a place where you'd see little but Rosepoint and Majolica, perhaps it is time to revisit and revise.

"Double standard," a series of witty if anatomically frank male nudes composed by photographer Rachul McClintic, is upstairs. In the series, McClintic casts a cynical eye upon art history and re-imagines all those fetching females. All of a sudden the curves are not that of boobs and thighs but of buttocks, pectorals and penises.

Egad, mommy; all that flesh and not a single slice of female cleavage.

McClintic is more than a photog; she is a capable painter who has exhibited in SW Virginia (Ferrum College, BA), in Baton Rouge, Shreveport (Artspace) and at Louisiana Tech, where she earned an MFA. The chiaroscuro and contraposto of her photos says that these are compositions informed by a painter's sensibility.

In her "Double Standard" nudes McClintic shows more penises than nipples. Aside from a young woman's feminist attempt to balance the score in art history, the tweaks in this exhibit have a sense of humor. "There's 'Leda and the Swan!' But, ahem, that's not Leda!"

New Orleans artist Monica Zeringue, represented at Meadows by a by a 30-foot mixed-media story called "Matador," was named a New Superstar of Art in Oxford American's Visual South Issue, March 2012.

Zeringue's artistic vocabulary includes drawing and embroidery via thread and hair. Pubescent self portraits dominate her sketches; even more dominant are her tresses. Cascading masses of brunette hair become many things in Zeringue's mind: they are dark fountains, thick ropes, even characters in a story.

Meet Monica Zeringue, a friendly and articulate woman with national prestige, on Sun, Oct 7, 2 pm, when she will offer an artist's talk at Meadows. It is Zeringue's second Meadows exhibit; she seems part of a fresh conversation about art initiated by director Diane DuFilho.

Be aware of Meadows Museum's limited hours: it is open Tues through Fri from noon to 4 pm; on Thurs there's an extra hour: it's noon to 5 pm. Sat and Sun visitors slip in between 1 and 4 pm.

Terrific gift shop dominated by cool books and interesting jewelry.

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