The Louisiana Art & Science Museum, 100 River Road S., has extended the exhibit John Clemmer: New and Selected Works to Sunday, May 6.
This exhibition celebrates Clemmer’s many contributions to the arts in Louisiana.
“John Clemmer has been an icon on the Louisiana art scene,” curator Elizabeth Weinstein said. “We’ve received great response to this exhibit from his former students, people who have known him and people who love his work.”
Clemmer was born in 1921 near Donaldsonville and moved with his family to New Orleans when he was 7. Following high school, he received a scholarship to the New Orleans Art School. His teachers included such Louisiana art legends as Paul Ninas, Xavier Gonzales and Enrique Alferez.
By 1951, Clemmer was executive director of the now famous Arts and Crafts Club; director of the affiliated New Orleans School of Art; and teacher of drawing, painting, and basic design in the Tulane School of Architecture. Clemmer later began to teach at Newcomb College, and after 27 years, he left his post at the School of Architecture to chair the Newcomb Art Department, where he remained until 1986.
Clemmer’s work reflects a restless, highly personal investigation of the modernist enterprise. Style, subject matter, and media have steadily evolved over the years, and many influences and inspirations have informed his work. In 1999, the New Orleans Museum of Art presented a major retrospective documenting 60 years of the artist’s work in the exhibit John Clemmer: Exploring the Medium, 1945-1999.
“Throughout his long academic career, Clemmer maintained a studio away from the University,” stated the biography on his website, http://johnclemmer.com. “He exhibited his work regularly at two- to three-year intervals in local and regional galleries throughout the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s, including several shows in the historic Clemmer residence.”
During the course of his more than 50 years as an artist, Clemmer’s work has been extraordinarily diverse.
His artwork, as stated in his biography, reflects “a restless and highly personal investigation of the modernist enterprise. Style, subject matter, and media have evolved steadily over the years, and many influences and inspirations have informed his work.”
“Although thought of by many exclusively as a painter, Clemmer has also produced an extensive body of three-dimensional work,” his biography continued.
Beginning in 1949, Clemmer has been the recipient of numerous commissions for works in both public and private venues, executed in a wide variety of media. Included among the commissions were a series of religious sculptures for synagogues in Evanston, Ill., and New Orleans, a group of fountains incorporating bronze panels and sand/plaster castings, and several monumental sand/plaster murals.
Dozens of smaller works in metal, plexiglass, wood, and sand/plaster casting have emerged from his studio, as well.
Museum hours are 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays and 1-4 p.m. Sundays. For more information, call (225) 344-5272 or visit http://lasm.org.
Louisiana Arts & Science Museum and http://wwwjohnclemmer.org