Force of Nature 2: Masquerade of the Divine

Jun. 16 - Sep. 1, 2006


Paul Rodgers/9W is pleased to present four select installations of new work to be held over the coming year, culminating in a public exhibition of works drawn from the series entitled Force of Nature. The second presentation from this series, Masquerade of the Divine, is currently on view at the gallery. This presentation brings together a group of found objects, assemblages, and artifacts fused with painting. The predominant tone of this installation is indigo, a dye that became the first cash crop of Louisiana and was cultivated by the artist’s ancestors. Facing the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, Angelbert Metoyer has created this installation in the same spirit as the Mardi Gras festivities currently being celebrated in New Orleans.

Hurricane Katrina’s displacement of objects and people encouraged Angelbert to reach back into his memories and associations of houses in which he lived or knew from visiting his extended family across the South. The hurricane’s force scattered these artifacts to the wind and challenged the artist to retrieve them into the edifice of myth, memory, and magic which guides his art. Channeling his shamanistic energy, Angelbert has uncovered and revived these strong symbols of an undeniable cultural spirit.

There is a sense of real pathos and loss about this natural tragedy that has understandably opened up a broader national consciousness. Though the GulfCoast’s musical and artistic heritage has always been admired, it is only now, in the face of tragedy, that that heritage has reached such a broad audience: Angelbert’s objects, therefore, become all the more meaningful when one recognizes the distance they have traveled. Recovered from the wreckage of the hurricane their material value increases, all the more intoxicating for the loss they represent: the haunted photograph of a girl in a mirror, the bedazzled rocking horse that sits atop a pedestal (never to be ridden again), the painted grandfather clock, whimsical in its updated setting. Separately they evidence the cultural implications of a natural disaster. Together they represent the recovery of a damaged civilization. For the collector, who will reconstitute this work in a new setting, each object will resonate with a new set of associations, living beyond the artist’s emotional and actual journey and into another level of personal history.

The premier African and African-American Literary Journal Callaloo will feature work by Angelbert Metoyer on the cover of its Spring 2006 issue and publish an 8 page visual essay and interview by Dr. Charles Rowell in the Summer 2006 issue. TheAfrican-American Museum in Dallas,Texas will host a solo show of Angelbert Metoyer’s work, opening June 16, 2006, entitled “A New World With Its Own Vocabulary”. Paul Rodgers/9W Gallery is also pleased to announce an upcoming show of the artist’s work at Kamloops ArtGallery in Canada, organized byKamloops Art Gallery curator Jen Budney and independent curator Franklin Sirmans.