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Review: Crevasse 22

D. Eric Bookhardt on the Prospect.3 outdoor sculpture and indoor art exhibition in Poydras, Louisiana



It's over. Sometimes fascinating and provocative, Prospect.3 could also be rambling and obscure, yet it generated mostly positive buzz. One glitch yet to be fixed is differentiating real Prospect shows from the unaffiliated "satellite" expos. Adding a plus sign to the P.3 logo doesn't cut it, since the familiar graphic might lead the unwary into someone's hobby room. One P.3+ site that was worth the drive — and which remains open through February — is Crevasse 22, a sculpture garden and art show at the site of the 1922 levee break in Poydras. On a nice day, the site is sublime by itself, but with the art and Old World charm of St. Bernard Parish patriarch Sidney Torres III, who serves as proprietor and occasional guide, it is cooler than the sum of its parts.

  The sculpture garden is new and the pieces are too far-flung to attain critical mass, but its blue-chip local artists and superb setting give it great potential. Mitchell Gaudet's Crevasse Clouche installation of little glass domes around an oak tree is mysterious, as is Robert Tannen's Floodwall assemblage of meandering wooden pallets. Jennifer Odem's Tables Rising pyramidal tower of ascending household tables is joyously witty in the classical surrealist manner. The centerpiece is River House, a 1970s home renovated into a three-story-tall minimalist sculpture that doubles as a gallery. A hulking geometric form topped by a glass widow's walk, it currently features a solid if restrained exhibit of paintings and graphics curated by Jeanne Nathan. But it is the interior, by architect John Chrestia, that steals the show as a masterpiece of precise minimalist understatement.

  As for Prospect New Orleans, Trevor Schoonmaker of the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, will serve as its next artistic director. Advance word has it that this capable and eclectic curator will focus on music and the Caribbean for Prospect.4 in 2017-2018, which serendipitously overlaps with New Orleans' tricentennial celebration.

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