The Big Easel: Prospect.4 New Orleans

The citywide international contemporary art exhibit is back...and cooler than ever.

The Big Easy becomes the Big Easel with the opening of Prospect.4: The Lotus in Spite of the Swamp Nov. 18, 2017. The fourth iteration of the largest periodic international contemporary art exhibition in the U.S. continues through Feb. 25, 2018, spotlighting 73 artists from more than 25 countries working in a wide range of media at 17 different venues.

Aligning with New Orleans’ tricentennial celebration, P.4 is reflective of the city’s varied cultural influences and features 38 commissioned original works, in addition to 60-plus satellite exhibit spaces. 

Prospect.4 New Orleans

While past Prospects have been scattered throughout the city, P.4 is more linear, with special emphasis on the Mississippi riverfront. Crescent Park, which runs along the river from the French Quarter to the Bywater neighborhood, features sculpture by Atlanta’s Radcliffe Bailey and others, a video by Miami filmmaker Jillian Mayer and a mural by Runo Lagomarsino, who was recently featured in the Venice Biennale. 

Manhattan-based artist Derrick Adams created a multimedia installation for the Riverfront streetcar; take it to the end of the line and you’ll find another by Nigerian-born abstract artist Odili Donald Odita at the Algiers ferry landing. Take the ferry across the river and you’ll discover a new work by Kara Walker (of “Sugar Sphinx” fame) in collaboration with jazz pianist Jason Moran, along with a river-themed installation by fellow New Yorker Mark Dion.

Prospect.4 New Orleans

Highlights include collages created by Louis Armstrong at New Orleans Jazz Museum at the Old U.S. Mint, London-based filmmaker John Akomfrah’s feature-length documentary on jazz pioneer Buddy Bolden at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art and the late Barkley L. Hendricks’ post-modern portraits of people of color at the New Orleans Museum of Art.

For a full lineup of artists, venues and related events visit the Prospect New Orleans website.