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Rising Art: Petrichor, Paintings by Erica Lambertson Philippe at Coup d'Oeil

Erica Lambertson Philippe has produced an impressive 30 paintings for Petrichor, her solo exhibition at Coup d'Oeil Art Consortium, which showcases New Orleans artists on Magazine St. The paintings fill four rooms and were completed in 2010 and 2011.

In preparation, Philippe has been a whirling dervish of paint, color, and bits of americana. Painting "wet-on-wet," the entire visual fields of her oil paintings seem woven together. She produces very complete images, though the stuff comprising the scenes is odd--distortion, unlikely pairings--and suggest composites, a laborious almost collage-like melding.

An antique store. A mystically exhausted woman. A beached orca. A light-blasted ol' photo. A country-western gal. The scenes share the bizarre qualities of Wes Anderson films--meticulous in their design, ironic, humorous, and neither wholly happy, nor wholly sad.

Some we recognize, such as "Cats in the Riverbend," 2011. Some we are familiar with, but do not know, such as "Untitled," 2010, a dated father-son portrait. Some we cannot know, such as "Swimmy Swim," 2011, marine animals in an architectural space, for they exist in Lambertson Philippe's dream space of painting.

Philippe graduated from NOCCA and completed her BFA in painting at Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. She studied in France before returning to New Orleans to practice painting, and will begin UNO's MFA program in the fall.