vistas of leafy old New Orleans neighborhoods, Phil Sandusky has of late taken us along a road less traveled--at least, for him. In this city it is not surprising to see a plein air painter working at an easel in front of a French Quarter or Uptown landmark, but to find one daubing away across from a CBD Walgreen's or chain hotel is another matter. Yet this show encompasses all of the above, and there is even a canvas featuring the WATERWORKS, above, on Claiborne Ave., which appears as a bucolic vista recalling the early days of industrialization in the South. While his pre-Katrina work mostly rendered genteel Uptown byways in a gauzily impressionistic style that was often lovely if almost predictably sweet, his work right after the storm rendered its ravages with the unflinching candor of a social realist. Here his flair for wreckage appears in DEMOLITION ON HILLARY ST., a site of mechanized
destruction rendered as if by a modern day Monet. But other intrusions of modernity into otherwise timeless vistas appear in works like FIG AND CARROLLTON, a view of urban desolation redeemed by balmy pastel light. MUSTANG ON PEARL STREET, above right, contrasts the pop contours of a car with the ancient cottage behind it as impressionistic brushwork evokes the humidity on a balmy day when the sun-baked pavement transforms the air into a dense presence with a shape-shifting life of its own. Here Sandusky reveals his flair as a poet of this city’s ambient phenomena that most of us take for granted.
PLEIN AIR PORTRAITS OF NEW ORLEANS: New Work by Phil Sandusky
Cole Pratt Gallery, 3800 Magazine St., 891-6789; www.coleprattgallery.com
MULTIPLES: New Work by George Dunbar Heriard-Cimino Gallery
Through Dec. 2
Heriard-Cimino Gallery, 440 Julia St., 525-7300; www.heriardcimino.com
As seen in Gambit