Mildred Thompson: Against the Grain
Against the Grain marks the first solo museum presentation of the experimental wood works of the American artist Mildred Thompson (1936-2003) in more than thirty years. An accomplished painter, sculptor, writer and musician, Thompson began creating her wood assemblages, which she called wood pictures, while living in Germany in the early 1960s. Thompson’s abstract work in wood went against the grain of the more representational and overtly political art of her time to offer more subtle reflections on history, memory and place. These sculptural assemblages—which represent a unique contribution to the art of this period—combine found and manipulated wood segments into sophisticated, expressive compositions that are located between painting, sculpture and collage. Often created from wood sourced in the forests of rural Germany, Thompson explored the material’s natural variations to create sensitive juxtapositions of texture, color and form.
New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA), New Orleans’ oldest fine arts institution, opened on December 16, 1911 with only 9 works of art. Today, the museum hosts an impressive permanent collection of almost 40,000 objects. The collection, noted for its extraordinary strengths in French and American art, photography, glass, and African and Japanese works, continues to expand and grow, making NOMA one of the top art museums in the south.
The five-acre Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden at NOMA is one of the most important sculpture installations in the United States, with over 60 sculptures situated on a beautifully landscaped site amongst meandering footpaths, reflecting lagoons, Spanish moss-laden 200-year-old live oaks, mature pines, magnolias, camellias, and pedestrian bridges.