Skip to content
A pure passion for paint drives these 8 female artists. Here's when to see their show.

Who would have guessed that there’s a small cadre of female abstract expressionist painters holed up at the New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts?


Abstract expressionism is a beatnik-era style typified by brusque brush handling, psychological self-analysis and the almost entire rejection of subject matter. Paint-spattered shoes, gin martinis, and dark, existential moods were all part of the picture.


The fact that several students and faculty at a venerable Uptown art school are practicing the style is fascinating because, first of all, abstract expressionism is currently so out of fashion. Art these days is figural and political, meant to make a social statement. Abstract expressionism is certainly not.

Not to mention that for decades the Academy was known for the patient practice of classic figure drawing and trompe l'œil painting technique. Abstract expressionism ain’t that either. Far from it.


Abstract expressionism is all about action, risk, channeling the subconscious and capturing the emotion of the moment. Hats off to this unexpected cabal of Krasners, Frankenthalers and Mitchells for their passionate relationships with paint.


The “ei8ht takes” exhibit features fiery works by students Duane Couch, Nancy Hirsch Lassen, Rhenda Saporito, Sindy Scalfi and Robin Benton Crutcher, with faculty members Aimee Farnet Siegel, Zona Wainwright, and the leader of the pack, Nell Tilton.

The show opens with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. on Saturday (March 9) and continues through April 20. The New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts is located at 5256 Magazine St. For more information, visit