Paintings, Drawings, Sculpture
A retrospective of a defiant New Orleans realist artist
Born in 1930 in a working-class Brooklyn family, Jean Seidenberg quickly made art his livelihood. As a teenager, he worked in galleries and learned framing and the craft of silkscreen printing. Through those years, Seidenberg educated his eye in New York's museums. His work is filled with references---to the incisive line of Edgar Degas, to Willem de Kooning's freedom with gesture, to the sensuality of Gustave Courbet.
Working in New Orleans since 1951, Seidenberg practiced in one of the few American cities disposed to support a full-time figure painter. In the late 1950s, he developed a gesturally charged style. Later, he produced tightly delineated egg tempera works. In the past twenty years, he has cultivated two manners, shifting between densely worked oils executed from life and luminous pencil drawings often based on photographic composites.
This book evolved in response to an invitation from the Ogden Museum of Southern Art for an exhibition of work from Seidenberg's sixty-year career as a practicing fine artist. It became part of the Ogden's continuing Southern Masters Series. With the support of the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, the exhibit ran from January 3 to April 13, 2008, and is now being presented in book form.