"Arthur Kern: The Surreal World of a Reclusive Sculptor" opens at Ogden Museum of Southern Art

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Kern's ghostly sculptures depict horses with phantom riders and other strange creatures.
  • Kern's ghostly sculptures depict horses with phantom riders and other strange creatures.


At the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, “Arthur Kern: The Surreal World of a Reclusive Sculptor” opened last weekend. The artist has a colorful biography: a retired Tulane University fine arts professor, he has rarely shown or sold any of his work. In 1992 he was awarded a $1 million judgment after an auto accident when he said nerve damage to his right hand destroyed his ability to sculpt. (The judgment was later reversed.)

According to a press release, the artist's sculptures have been accumulating on tabletops and in cabinets in his Uptown home for the past four decades. It’s only being shown now at the encouragement of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil author John Berendt, who curated the show. With its equestrian and anatomical motifs, the work’s austere colors and melting shapes evoke phantasmagoria and decay. 

There’s an opening reception for the show from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, March 31. 

Correction: an earlier version of this post which mentioned the lawsuit failed to state its ultimate resolution. 


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