A Prospect.4 exhibit at the New Orleans Museum of Art.(Photographer: Michael Smith)

By Pelican Bomb, Story by Cameron Shaw:

"Curator Dan Cameron conceived Prospect New Orleans, whose first iteration opened in November 2008, as an international contemporary art biennial in the tradition of Venice, Istanbul, and Sao Paulo. These famed mega exhibitions around the world draw art-world jetsetters and cultural tourists to their host cities every two years.

Art biennials find their roots in the grand expositions of 19th-century Europe, and to the average New Orleanian the concept might feel equally remote.

With "Prospect.4: The Lotus in Spite of the Swamp," which opened to the public Nov. 18, this year's curator Trevor Schoonmaker delivers a triennial (Prospect has since moved to a three-year schedule) that is relatable to general audiences. Critics in several national publications have cited a lack of curatorial risk in Schoonmaker's vision, but they miss the fact that there have been only a handful of museum-quality group shows in New Orleans including international artists since Cameron's original exhibition."


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