November 5, 2018 - Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans - 2018 fall exhibitions
November 5, 2018

Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans

William Monaghan, 1709, 2017 (detail). Painted steel, aluminum, and cotton fabric, 60x60 inches.

2018 fall exhibitions
November 3, 2018–February 10, 2019

Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans
900 Camp St
New Orleans, LA 70130
Hours: Wednesday–Monday 11am–5pm

T +1 504 528 3805
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This weekend, the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans debuted its 2018 Fall Visual Arts program: three concurrent solo exhibitions by artists Zarouhie Abdalian, William Monaghan, and Keith Calhoun & Chandra McCormick that engage with labor histories, vestiges of industry, and the communities who labor. Curated by Andrea Andersson, The Helis Foundation Chief Curator of Visual Arts, the program positions art as an instrument for social documentation and activism.

Zarouhie Abdalian: Production
After presentations at the Berkeley Museum of Art, LAXART, and the Whitney Biennial, Zarouhie Abdalian returns to her hometown of New Orleans with a solo exhibition. Through sound, sculpture, and site-specific installation, Production explores the historical and subjective condition of human labor. Mounting a critical response to the art historical development of the readymade, Abdalian foregrounds in found objects the traces of their production, use, and circulation within society. The exhibition will include newly commissioned works alongside works from the last five years, as well as a selection of films curated by Abdalian by Allan Sekula, Flora M’mbugu-Schelling, Harun Farocki, Instituto Cubano del Arte e Industria Cinematográficos, Kevin Jerome Everson, Loreley Unamuno, and Malena Bystrowicz.

William Monaghan: I - Object
I—Object presents two periods of work by artist William Monaghan (from 1970s-80s and today) that, together, offer a critical reappraisal of the relationship between fine art and industrial fabrication. Raised in New Orleans, Monaghan spent his childhood watching the mechanical operations of the Reily Coffee Company, where his father worked in the 1950s. Later, he was instructed  in the Bauhaus tradition and trained in the studios of architect Buckminster Fuller and sculptor William Wainwright. His early, large-scale works in steel and canvas locate artistic agency at the intersection of materials.  Mounted and exposed to the elements, chemical reactions, oxidation, and evaporation gave way to evocative marks in rust and red. In his recent body of work, industrial detritus are meticulously assembled, affixed, and painted, distorting perceptions of depth as space, as well as our relationships with unwanted and forgotten objects.

Keith Calhoun and Chandra McCormick: Labor Studies
Born and raised in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans, photographers Keith Calhoun and Chandra McCormick have spent more than three decades collaboratively documenting the conditions of workers and labor industries across Louisiana. From the dockworkers and longshoremen on the New Orleans waterfront, to the service industry and domestic workers that fill the restaurants and hotels in the French Quarter, Calhoun and McCormick’s rich photographic oeuvre bears witness to the experiences and struggles of the various labor communities that uphold Louisiana’s unique culture and the socioeconomic infrastructure that renders the physical and financial lives of workers precarious.

The CAC is also proud to participate in For Freedom’s 50 State Initiative, a non-partisan, nationwide campaign to inspire civic participation through art in advance of the 2018 midterm elections. With the support of Lamar Advertising, the CAC has installed billboards featuring artworks by William Monaghan Stripes and Stars (1973), and Keith Calhoun, Right To Return (2005).

About the Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans
The CAC is a multidisciplinary arts center dedicated to the presentation, production, and promotion of the art of our time. Formed in 1976 by a passionate group of visual and performing artists when the movement to tear down the walls between visual and performing arts was active nationwide, the CAC expresses its mission by organizing world class curated exhibitions, performances, and public programs that educate and enlarge audiences for the arts while encouraging collaboration among diverse stakeholders composed of artists, institutions, communities, and supporters throughout the world.

For more information on the fall exhibitions and related events and programs, please visit

Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans
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