Sunday, February 1, 2015

Crevasse 22: From Levee Break to Sculpture Park

It's over. Sometimes fascinating and provocative, Prospect.3 could also seem rambling and obscure, yet it generated mostly positive buzz. One glitch yet to be fixed is differentiating real Prospect shows from those unaffiliated "satellite" expos. Adding a "plus" sign to the P.3 logo doesn't cut it since the familiar looking graphic might lead the unwary into someone's hobby room. One P.3+ site that was worth the drive--and will remain open through February--is Crevasse 22, a sculpture garden and art show at the site of the 1922 Poydras, LA, levee break. On a nice day, the site is sublime by itself--but with the art, plus the Old World charm of proprietor and occasional guide, St. Bernard Parish patriarch Sidney Torres III, it is cool beyond the sum of its parts.

The sculpture garden is still new and the pieces are too far flung to attain critical mass, but its blue chip local artists and superb site give it great potential. Mitch Gaudet's Crevasse Clouche installation of little glass domes around an oak tree is mysterious, as is Robert Tannen's Floodwall assemblage of meandering wooden pallets. Jennifer Odem's Tables Rising pyramidal tower of ascending household tables is joyously witty in the classical surrealist manner. The centerpiece is River House, a 1970s home renovated into a three story tall minimalist sculpture that doubles as a gallery. A hulking geometric form topped by a plate glass widow's walk, it currently features a solid if restrained exhibit of paintings and graphics curated by Jeanne Nathan--but it is the interior itself, by architect John Chrestia, that steals the show as a masterpiece of precise minimalist understatement.

As for Prospect itself,  Trevor Schoonmaker of the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University in Durham, N.C. will serve as its next artistic director. Advance word has it that this capable and eclectic curator will hone in on music and the Caribbean for Prospect.4 in 2017-2018, which serendipitously overlaps with New Orleans' Tricentennial birthday celebration. ~Bookhardt, Crevasse 22: Outdoor Sculpture and Indoor Art Exhibition, Saturdays & Sundays, 11am--4pm, through February, 8122 Saro Lane, Poydras LA, 218-4807.