SPOTLIGHT ON FRANCIS PAVY
May 19, 2017 — Dec 09, 2017
The work of Lafayette native Francis X. Pavy encompasses a wide range of practices and techniques. Since earning his B.F.A. in 1976 from the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now University of Louisiana at Lafayette), his art has traveled the distance of painting, printmaking, ceramics, glass making, neon, live drawing and music. Regional narratives and mythologies are explored in his compositions, which unfold as a series of symbols that can be read as dream states or stories. In the wake of the BP oil spill in 2010, Pavy began a series that addressed the coastal Louisiana wetlands. Lake Arthur Lotus is a psychedelic swampscape that was created improvisationally over many months in 2014. The surface of the painting has been worked and reworked with colorful washes of oil paint and spray paint, which creates a dense atmosphere to contain sharp geometric patterns and imagery. Working on the floor using linocut blocks and body pressure, Pavy created this piece by layering print after print, and responding visually to the marks and shapes on the canvas. On view is the resulting painting and a selection of blocks that were used in this process of collage.
Born in Lafayette in 1954, Francis X. Pavy earned a B.F.A in 1976 from the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now University of Louisiana at Lafayette). After training with painter Elemore Morgan Jr. at a young age, Pavy’s visual interests have been centered on the relationships of color and line. “My work stems from the Southern narrative storytelling tradition,” says Pavy. “Common subjects for me are the folk life and folklore of the local people juxtaposed against the fabric of popular American culture.”
His work has been exhibited widely in museums and galleries throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. Past exhibitions have included the New Orleans Museum of Art; Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa; Contemporary Art Museum, Houston; Cleveland Museum of Art; Institute for Contemporary Art, Boston; Contemporary Art Center, New Orleans; Alexandria Museum of Art; LSU Museum of Art, Baton Rouge; the San Jose Museum of Art in California; and the New York Historical Society, among many other institutions. His work has also been recognized by numerous commissions and grants, including awards from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, the Arts Council of New Orleans, L’Academie des Beaux Arts and Monde Francophone.
Earlier this year Pavy was commissioned by the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation to create “Funk Foundation”, the official 2017 Jazz Fest poster, which depicts the original lineup of The Meters in 1966. He also created the 1997 and 2007 Jazz Fest posters, which featured portraits of the Neville Brothers and Jerry Lee Lewis.