Another Time and Place
Lafayette musician, Dickie Landry, displays nearly 40 years of art in Manship Theatre Gallery
By Jake ClappPosted Sep 26, 2012
Richard “Dickie” Landry had just gotten back to his home in Lafayette. After a business trip to New York, the 73-year-old Cecilia native was excited to haul in a blooming pecan harvest. For Landry, farming is just another of the many surprising things about the musician and artist.
Over the course of a successful and eclectic career, Landry has worked closely with Philip Glass, Laurie Anderson, Paul Simon and Bob Dylan. He’s performed concerts and shown art from New York’s Guggenheim to Paris – always coming back home to Lafayette, where he routinely plays saxophone with the swamp-pop supergroup, Lil’ Band o’ Gold.
It’s been an ever-changing path for Landry, and now he’s giving a glimpse into nearly 40 years of work with his art show “Evolution of an Idea,” hanging in the Manship Theatre Gallery in downtown’s Shaw Center for the Arts. This is the first official art exhibit sponsored by the Manship Theatre in their gallery space. Though the work is already on the walls, an opening reception will be held 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4.
“All of these pieces of work were stored in my house, and I was happy to getting them out of here,” Landry said. “Basically, this show was easy. The hardest part was cleaning the paintings after being stored and hung up on the walls for years, getting the dust and fly stuff off them.”
The exhibit showcases drawings, paintings and photographs Landry has made since 1974, all following a common theme. Many of the items on display haven’t been seen outside of Landry’s home.
All of the works follow a theme Landry created in 1974, after creating three Ray-o-Gram photographs based on his use of video at the time. By squaring off the round top and bottom of a TV screen, Landry created an irregular hexagonal shape, and resembling a cube. He then fills the void with design or other images.
“In 1969, I was working with some artist and was using a Sony black and white reel-to-reel tape deck, a very cheap camera and a cheap mixing box,” Landry said, explaining how he created his design. “While working with this video and this primitive mixing box, I came up with an idea for photographs with squaring off the top of the TV screen. By 1974, I was in the middle of the minimal scene in art, I was getting ideas from Philip Glass’ music, and I got ideas from other artists around me.”
From those original Ray-o-gram prints, Landry created drawings from 1974-1976, before moving on to other projects. For nearly two decades, Landry was touring the world playing music with Glass and other musicians and didn’t have time to commit to painting. It was after he settled in Florida that he picked his 1974 style back up. In 1994, he began to paint again. The latest piece in the exhibit is from 2006.
“After seeing them all in one place, it’s like, ‘Wow, I did that.’ It’s great to see, and I hope people get what the idea was,” Landry said.
Landry is continuing to bounce back and forth between music and art. He said he is now planning a book of photography. For him, this exhibit is a just another reminder of where he’s been.
“It feels like yesterday,” Landry said. “Time does fly. You look over your shoulder and wonder where you’ve been. I remember the guy who helped me print the first pieces. It’s a little memory walk back in time.”