NEWS ARTICLES

In late June, New Orleans artist Robert Tannen spent $6,000 to purchase a retired 30-foot lifeboat. The hazard-orange vessel was built to hold 74 crewmen, in case their freighter sank beneath them. Tannen found the boat for sale in the parking lot of a movie industry prop shop...

 

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That stack of seven wooden picnic tables on the corner of Poydras Street and Loyola Avenue, titled "Endless Picnic," is a typical Robert Tannen sculpture. Tannen is one of the most far out artists on the Crescent City art scene. He has been for 40 years. Tannen doesn't exactly make things; he transforms things...

 

 

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Decades ago, the New Orleans artist Robert Tannen recognized something emblematic in one of the city's most common forms: the shotgun house. Since then, he's created artistic renderings of the shotgun for galleries and public spaces throughout New Orleans. In this edition of NOLA Life Stories, Mr. Tannen tells historian Mark Cave about the origin of this body of work...

 

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When I met with local artist Robert Tannen and asked him about his work as both a visual artist and a regional planner, he shared with me a memory from his own childhood growing up on Coney Island in New York. At the age of 15, a wooden boat he’d constructed was reduced to splintered pieces by storm surge from Hurricane Hazel. Tannen had anchored the boat in a supposedly sheltered harbor, only to see it get dashed upon the rocks. This firsthand encounter with a storm’s unforeseen consequences...

 

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He's everywhere. An urban planner by profession, Robert Tannen is also a social activist and a prolific artist. Born in Brooklyn in 1937, he arrived in this area in 1969 and has maintained a hyper-creative local lifestyle ever since. He played a seminal role in the founding of the Contemporary Arts Center in 1976, and has more recently worked to develop venues for local artists to show their own work concurrently with the Prospect.1 New Orleans international...

 

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Stardust is molecular debris from dead stars, which scientists theorize combined to form the universe. Thus, “dust to dust” becomes a proverb that addresses both spiritual and secular concerns, as does Robert Tannen in the wide range of works on view in this exhibition. This cyclic metamorphosis is also evident in the way the artist extrapolates new meaning and form from refuse, found objects, and regional signifiers. Richly layered and extensive...

 

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Robert Tannen sees the world through a multitude of sources. These angles -- which include time, place and, most importantly, experience -- form into a single, but an all-encompassing viewpoint. The 70-year-old artist and urban planner is sitting on a bench in the Kirsha Kaechele Project, a recently opened gallery located in the St. Roch neighborhood, ostensibly discussing his work, but he's doing much more...

 

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Nobody has to tell us not to touch the art when we walk into a museum or gallery. Those instructions are built into the art itself and into the way it is presented, and an aura of restricted access is one of the distinguishing characteristics of high art.

 

New Orleans artist Robert Tannen has always hated that. “If you’re t....

 

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At the start of Prospect.2, the avant-garde art exhibition that sprawled across New Orleans in the fall of 2012, Robert Tannen decided to create "art by committee." He invited fellow artists and enthusiastic amateurs -- neighbors, children, students, friends, about 400 people all told -- to help paint 200-foot murals stretched along...

 

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Copyright 2019 Robert C. Tannen. Website by Matthew Foreman