Sunday, October 9, 2011

Josephine Sacabo and Ersy at the Ogden Musuem


Over the years Josephine Sacabo's mysterious, dreamy and rather archaic looking photographs, such as COPIA DIVINA, left, have appeared in galleries like fragments of dreams or artifacts brought back by time travelers to the 19th century of the French Symbolists and Magic Realists. It is indeed hard to believe that they are products of our own time, and the same might be said of Ersy's dreamily gothic and surreal bronze, silver and wood sculptures, only her work harks to no specific period or place but to an alien yet familiar realm of the imagination, a place of beautiful if twisted mysteries. Both artists are longtime friends, but the effect of several decades of their work seen in such close proximity is startling if not magical. Ersy's sculpture may come as a revelation as pieces that resembled impressive curiosities in her infrequent and more modest earlier exhibitions, are now revealed to be integral parts of an intricately elaborated parallel universe.

Comprised of mysterious mice and skeletal birds among other fantastical creatures, all are either tangled up in strange mechanisms or arrayed in carnivalesque processions like her miniature HOMMAGE LA SOCIETE DE STE. ANNE, top, or PALLBEARERS, above, or else in otherworldly settings with Max Ernst, Pauline Réage and Brothers Grimm overtones evoked by the clever use of abstract details. And where Sacabo is overtly romantic, if sometimes gothic in works like LA PASION, right, Ersy is as taut and fraught as a Hitchcock thriller. Both are meticulously prolific -- Sacabo has a impressive parallel exhibition of her most recent work at A Gallery for Fine Photography—and the detailed thoroughness of both artists' vision is nothing less than staggering. Some three years in the making, this exhibition of two sui generis New Orleans artists, along with the George Dureau expo upstairs, offers new evidence of the Ogden Museum's potential as a showcase for providing striking new insights that would have been unlikely anywhere else, here or abroad. ~Bookhardt

Read more about Josephine Sacabo and Ersy in the New York Times (Click Here)

ERSY: ARCHITECT OF DREAMS: Retrospective Exhibition of Sculpture by Ersy; OYEME CON LOS OJOS: Retrospective Exhibition of Photographs by Josephine Sacabo, Through Jan. 8, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, 925 Camp St., 539-9600,; PHOTOGRAVURES: Recent Work by Josephine Sacabo, Through Dec. 31, A Gallery For Fine Photography, 241 Chartres St., 568-1313;

Left: Claustro by Josephine Sacabo