Key to All Mythologies


Nicole Charbonnet: Key to All Mythologies

at Arthur Roger Gallery in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
5 January-23 February 2019

Myths are a timeless connection to the human story for Nicole Charbonnet. These stories have been retold over and over across all forms and cultures and provide perspective to the human condition. And while today’s monsters may appear different, human nature remains the same. Charbonnet states, “the mythological paintings are a response to current social, cultural and political situations and a materialization of the silent unfolding phenomenological experiences of perception, cognition and memory.” “Key to all Mythologies” features medium- to large-scale paintings based on motifs from featuring the human form drawn from mythological paintings. There are recognizable images from noteworthy artists such as Henri Matisse, Édouard Manet, Michelangelo, and many others.

The distressed works are constructed using an additive and subtractive process. Layers of collage–literal debris from the artist’s life including letters, receipts, books, and fabric–are built up and manipulated with paint, modeling paste, marble dust and plaster. The compositions, which include superimposed words, textures and images, are repeatedly sanded, scraped, carved and repainted. They retain a sort of palimpsestic record of preexisting stages and become metaphors for the phenomena of recollection. In Austerlitz , W.G. Sebald, wrote, “Our concern with history…is a concern with preformed images already imprinted on our brains, images at which we keep staring while the truth lies elsewhere, away from it all.”

Born in New Orleans, Nicole Charbonnet received her B.A. from the University of Virginia and her M.F.A. from Boston University. She also studied in France at the Academic Goetz in Paris and the Cleveland Institute of Art’s school in Lacoste. She has exhibited nationally and internationally and received numerous honors and awards including grants from the Pollock-Krasner, Elizabeth Greenshields and Art Matters Foundations.

(from the gallery’s press materials)


Arthur Roger Gallery
432 Julia Street
New Orleans, Louisiana 70130
(504) 522-1999

Tuesday-Saturday, 10AM-5PM


Amor Vincit Omnia (After Caravaggio)
by Nicole Charbonnet
acrylic, plaster, and paper on canvas
Courtesy of the artist and Arthur Roger Gallery, New Orleans