Upcoming Events


Ashe Cultural Arts…

Nov 29 - Dec 31, 2015
Join us for Ashe to Amen: the Enduring Spirituality of People of African… more

Celebration in the…

Nov 29, 2015 - Jan 03, 2016
City Park's annual holiday lighting exhibit and festival returns with one of… more

Fats Domino & Dave…

Nov 29 - Dec 27, 2015
Join us at the Carver Theater for a Music Tribute honoring Legendary Musicians… more

Florida Room: Jessica…

Nov 29 - 29, 2015
The Foundation Gallery is excited to present Florida Room by Jessica Bizer … more

Jasper Johns:…

Nov 29, 2015 - Jan 31, 2016
Prints from the Donna Perret Rosen and Benjamin M. Rosen Collection: Jasper… more

Luna Fete: 2015

Nov 29 - Dec 5, 2015
      LUNA (Light Up NOLA Arts) Fete returns this… more

Newcomb Art Museum of…

Nov 29, 2015 - Jan 03, 2016
Join us for the  Exhibition: "A Shared Space: KAWS, Karl Wirsum,… more

Patriot, Planter,…

Nov 29, 2015 - Mar 20, 2016
NOMA will present the first exhibition to focus on the works of Pierre-Joseph… more

Quinn Peeper and…

Nov 29 - 29, 2015
Quinn Peeper, pianist and Albinas Prizintas, organist performing Grieg Concerto… more

The Photography of…

Nov 29, 2015 - Mar 01, 2016
The Photography of Modernist Cuisine: The Exhibition, a collection of over 50… more

Tim Youd: 100 Novels

Nov 29, 2015 - Feb 21, 2016
Los Angeles-based contemporary artist Tim Youd will visit NOMA to perform the… more


Nov 29, 2015 - Jan 10, 2016
This exhibition features work by the Japanese artist Bidou Yamaquchi. Trained… more

Visions of US:…

Nov 29, 2015 - Jan 24, 2016
Visions of US explores evolving ideas about American cultural identity from the… more

America, Illustrated:…

Nov 30, 2015 - Jan 05, 2016
New Orleans based M.S. Rau Antiques will pay tribute to The Saturday Evening… more

David Hansen's Garden…

Nov 30, 2015
Since 2006, Hansen's Garden District Jazz Trio has performed every night at… more

Tai Chi/Chi Kung

Nov 30 - 30, 2015
NOMA, in collaboration with the East Jefferson Wellness Center offers wellness… more

The Irish House…

Nov 30, 2015
This is the Biggest Irish Music Session in the south. On a Night you will see… more

The Maison Presents -…

Nov 30, 2015 - Jul 31, 2017
The Royal Roses grew out of the rich resurgence that traditional jazz is seeing… more

Art of Giving Holiday…

Dec 1 - 1, 2015
The Ogden Museum of Southern Art's Center for Southern Craft & Design will… more

Book Signing & Wine…

Dec 1 - 1, 2015
Enjoy complimentary wine and join us for a book signing and discussion with… more

Ashe Cultural Arts…

Nov 29 - Dec 31, 2015
Join us for Ashe to Amen: the Enduring Spirituality of People of African… more

Tonic of Wildness: Photographs by John Bentham


Tonic of Wildness: Photographs by John Bentham

Opening Reception: Saturday February 22, 2014, 6 - 9 pm
Exhibition through March 29, 2014


The Foundation Gallery
608 Julia Street
New Orleans, LA 70130


John Bentham documents various social groups in his photographs, depicting individuals from an array of backgrounds in their environments. His investigation into human behavior has been a lifelong pursuit that offers an intimate perspective into the lives of his subjects. Bentham also extends his practice to landscapes and details that complete the photographic stories and provide color and texture to the narratives he portrays. The artist's humanity toward his subjects is evident in his approach: at once insightful, personal, and frank.

Throughout his career, Bentham has focused on subcultures, including burlesque dancers, drag queens, bikers, and roller derby teams. Often these series develop over several years, and the artist fosters close relationships with his subjects, allowing for an inside view into their worlds. The series of works featured in this exhibition present a range of photographs, taken from 2012 through the present, that were inspired by Bentham's move from New York City to rural upstate New York in the summer of 2012. After over two decades of living in New York City, Bentham found the dramatic change from the busyness of urban life to the slower pace of the small town a compelling subject to tackle. The resulting images-a group of participants at a local truck pull; a lone rig parked in a lot outside Utica-faithfully represent the milieu in which the artist operates and lend an experiential, "being there" quality to the moment depicted.

Drawing from a rich tradition of documentary photographers such as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Diane Arbus, Robert Frank, and Bruce Davidson, Bentham approaches his subjects with minimal technical intervention. In our age of digital manipulation, it is refreshing to see a photograph that is not heavily imbued with falsely saturated colors and effects-one that instead depicts what is essentially true through the lens of the artist's own perspective.

How can an image be sympathetic, humorous, critical, and poetic at the same time? That is Bentham's gift. Somehow he manages to capture all these qualities with an effortlessness that belies the complexity of his subjects. His approach to the people and places he photographs does not endeavor to simplify or qualify their lives. Rather, these images present an often relatable perspective as they document the peculiarities of social behavior. As he has done in his other work, Bentham here uses the camera to observe and record while he becomes embedded within the culture he visually explores.

As Thoreau wrote, we need "the tonic of wildness"-moments never before seen in a particular way, places never before defined with such clarity. Through this new body of work, Bentham delves into the dynamic and mysterious relationships between people and their environment, a journey that is endlessly fascinating and unhaltingly original.


The Foundation Gallery
608 Julia Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
Telephone: 504-568-0955
Hours: 11-4 Tues & Wed, 11-6 Thurs-Sat

Opening Reception: Saturday February 22, 2014, 6 - 9 pm
Exhibition through March 29, 2014


Proceed from this exhibition will benefit the Treme Market Branch, New Orleans