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Ralph Bourque
updated: 01/25/2013
website: www.ralphbourque.com
 
   
 
 
     
 
Artwork Title
art-medium
art-year
dimensions
Click thumbnails for full view:
 
The Big Picture installation view
The Big picture
Egrets (Avery Island)
The Big Picture (detail)
Wild Boars
deluge#1
Atchfalaya
detail of Atchafalaya
Gulf Pelicans
detail of Gulf Pelicans
 
Portfolio Keywords:  animals, site-specific, nature, social criticism, consumer culture, political
 
 
The Big Picture installation view by Ralph Bourque
The Big Picture installation view
pastel, latex and acrylic paint on the gallery wall
2009
72" x  72" 
The Big picture by Ralph Bourque
The Big picture
pastel, latex and acrylic paint on the gallery wall
2009
72" x  72" 
Egrets (Avery Island) by Ralph Bourque
Egrets (Avery Island)
ink on paper
2011
48" x  56" 
The Big Picture (detail) by Ralph Bourque
The Big Picture (detail)
pastel, latex and acrylic paint on the gallery wall
2009
72 " x  72 " 
Wild Boars by Ralph Bourque
Wild Boars
ink on paper
2011
55" x  42" 
deluge#1 by Ralph Bourque
deluge#1
ink on watercolor paper
2012
55.5 " x  66 " 
Atchfalaya by Ralph Bourque
Atchfalaya
ink on paper
2011
55" x  80" 
detail of Atchafalaya by Ralph Bourque
detail of Atchafalaya
ink on paper
2011
Dimensions variable
Gulf Pelicans by Ralph Bourque
Gulf Pelicans
ink on paper
2011
44" x  84" 
detail of Gulf Pelicans by Ralph Bourque
detail of Gulf Pelicans
ink on paper
2011
Dimensions variable

Artist Statement

Darkness is the condition from which we all come. It is the matrix of infinite form and possibility from which light picks and chooses the objects it illuminates and brings into existence. In my art, I have discovered parallels between this interplay of darkness and light, and the interplay of black ink and white paper.  The subjects of my current body of work may be the Louisiana animals and vegetation which surround me (both of which have fascinated me since I was a child growing up amongst sugar cane farmers in and around the exotic environs of Avery Island), but the content of my work speaks about the effects that darkness and light have on these things - the ways that they conceal and expose or flatten and expand. Manipulating these different facets of darkness and light, I adjust the value of the foreground, middle ground and background of the image in order to thwart expected visual outcomes. In this way, positive and negative space collapse or become interchangeable.  

My artistic experimentations with ink have also been tinged by another form of darkness recently - the oil slick that shrouded the Gulf of Mexico last summer. This event has put a pall on all of us who live along the Gulf Coast, but the spill's most devastating effects have been rendered on the animals and vegetation of the Gulf and its beaches and coastal marshes. Images of blackened pelicans, along with other birds trapped in the murky, polluted waters of the Gulf, riddled the media and left me in grief over their plight. This especially hit home when I considered that many of my family members and friends work in the oil fields or oil-related industries. The dark presence of oil frames my life as well as the lives of everyone else on this planet. Practically everything in our lives today is either a direct or indirect byproduct of oil. It is the one leveling factor in our lives, which collapses all hierarchies and any sense of proportion for us. I feel this reality echoes in the way depth collapses in my images.

Artist Bio / CV

Education

1999 Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture

1998 MFA Pratt Institute

1995 BFA The University of Southwestern Louisiana

 Awards

2009 Art Melt, First Place, Bruner Gallery, Baton Rouge, LA

2008 Joan Mitchell Career Opportunity Grant

2001 BCAT, technical residency participant in web development, Brooklyn, NY

2000 The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts grant recipient

1999 Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture fellowship recipient

1994 Lafayette Art Association scholarship recipient

Solo Exhibitions

2009 “How I Learned to Stop Worrying”, Jonathan Ferarra Gallery, New Orleans, LA

2008 “Congregate”, Acadiana Center for the Arts, Lafayette, LA

2004 "I Want to Believe", Galerie Lafayette, Lafayette, Louisiana

2002 "I Adore You", P.S. 122 Gallery, New York, New York

1999 "Feels Like Home", Broadway Windows, New York, NY

Group Exhibitions

2009 “The Southern Open” Acadiana Center for the Arts, Lafayette, LA

2009 “Spring 2009”, Ephemeral Gallery, Baton Rouge, LA

2009 “Pal Shazar and Ralph Bourque” The Front, New Orleans, LA

2008 “Environs/Examined” LA artworks, New Orleans, LA

2007 “Southern Open”, Acadiana Center for the Arts, Lafayette, LA, Juror: Jerry Cullum

2005 “Spirit of Place”, Ogden Museum of Southern Art  New Orleans, LA

2005 “Les nouveaux artistes d’Acadiana” Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, New Orleans, LA

2005 “The Culture of Queer”, Contemporary Arts Center, NO LA

2002 "Pictorial Seams", Betty Rymer Gallery, SAIC, Chicago, IL

2002 "About Face", Jessica Murry Projects, Brooklyn, NY

2001 "Brooklyn, New Work", The Church of St John of the Divine, NY, NY

2001 "Installations", The Islip Art Museum, Islip, Long Island, NY

2001 "2001 Biennial", Portland Museum of Art, Portland, ME

2000 "Snapshot", Contemporary Museum, Baltimore, MD


Collections

Tremaine Burton Foundation, NY, NY

The University of Louisiana, Lafayette, LA

The Portland Museum, Portland, ME

The Islip Art Museum, Islip, Long Island, NY