The Contemporary Arts Center's Brilliant Disguise show is nothing if not surprising. Organized by New Orleans Museum of Art curator Miranda Lash with work from NOMA's collection, it is not only an unexpected example of institutional collaboration, it is surprising for its unlikely visual relationships as well. Any show that mingles antique tribal art, and even renaissance masters, with the work of trendy global hot shots should logically have been an incoherent mess--but only if one relies on verbal logic! This show illustrates how images can reveal their own visual logic when astutely deployed without regard for categories. Most genuinely meaningful art arises from a deeply nonverbal place that knows no boundaries in time and space, allowing escape from life's more ordinary limits. The same goes for carnival costuming and masking which, at its best, allows us to turn life into an artful extension of the imagination.
Contemporary Arts Center, 900 Camp St., 528.3805. Above: The Minuet (Detail) by Giovanni Tiepolo.