Nov 022012

The Cole Pratt Gallery will host an opening reception this evening (Friday, Nov. 2) for exhibits by artist Aaron Collier and artist Thuan Vu at the gallery at 3800 Magazine St.

For more information see the following press release from the Cole Pratt Gallery:


Cole Pratt Gallery will show the work of Louisiana artist Aaron Collier and Connecticut artist Thuan Vu for the month of November. In the main gallery, abstract oil paintings inspired by quilt patterns will represent Collier in a show entitled “Broken Star.” The second gallery will house Vu’s first solo New Orleans exhibition, “The New World.” Cole Pratt Gallery will hold an opening reception for both artists on Friday, November 2nd from 5:30 to 8 pm.

Aaron Collier’s brightly colored abstract paintings interpret the quilts his grandmother made. Many of the works, like Broken Star (2012) and Tumbling (2012), contain direct quotations of traditional quilt patterns. In every instance, however, the planned geometry of the pattern is disrupted by very gestural marks. Collier creates contrast between the sharp, ordered shapes we normally see in heirloom quilts and the more haphazard brushstrokes of abstract expressionism. Metaphorically speaking, the order we strive to create in our society—whether in politics, religion, urban planning or sport—is “prone to irregularity and to misstep” because of the human condition. The artist sees humanity in the hard work his grandmother exerted for her quilts, and also in the “ambitions for consistency” that we struggle for in everyday life. The paintings forced Collier to work with very tight geometric shapes not often seen in his work.

Thuan Vu also draws upon family history in his current show. For his first New Orleans exhibition and his debut at Cole Pratt Gallery, Vu references his family’s development as Vietnamese refugees who moved to New Orleans in the 1970’s. In “The New World,” dark forested canvases like The New World (Depths) progressively open to reveal clearings in the woods. The artist contrasts the murkiness and confusion of arriving in a foreign country with the optimism he and his parents felt for a better future. Vu’s compositions are non-linear and sometimes disorienting with contorted tree limbs and no sense of direction. He works with both oil paint and oil pastel in the creation of his sylvan scenery. While the subject matter is landscape-based, the overall sense of the work is more surreal and dreamlike, as the canvases have no discernable locality or identifying markers.

Aaron Collier earned his B.A. from Presbyterian College and his M.F.A. from Tulane University. He is currently a Professor of Practice in Tulane’s Department of Art. Thuan Vu received his B.A. in Art History from Centre College, and his M.F.A from Louisiana State University. He is currently a Professor of Art at Southern Connecticut State University. Their exhibitions will remain on view until November 24, 2012.

For more information, please contact Cristin Nunez at (504) 891-6789.

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