LMA's Rodrigue retrospective to feature Blue Dog paintings

The exhibition, "The Art of George Rodrigue: A Retrospective," will open April 9 at the Longview Museum of Art. His "Blue Dog" paintings became a popular image in pop culture.

Longview Museum of Art is preparing to display works by George Rodrigue, the late Louisiana artist famous for his "Blue Dog" paintings.

The exhibition, "The Art of George Rodrigue: A Retrospective," will open April 9. Jacques Rodrigue will talk about his father's art and legacy at an opening reception for the museum's members and exhibition sponsors.

His widow, Wendy Rodrigue, is set to take part events at the museum in June.

Rodrigue first gained attention painting the lush landscapes and bayou life of his native Louisiana but his career didn't take off until the 1980s when he began producing more whimsical pieces featuring his former dog Tiffany, a terrier-spaniel mix with big ears.

With its deep blue color and big curious yellow eyes, Blue Dog became a popular image in pop culture when it was used in advertising for Xerox and a brand of liquor.

Renee Hawkins, director of the museum, anticipates the exhibit will be one of the most popular ever hosted by the museum. She said similar retrospective exhibits at museums in Memphis, Tennessee, and New Orleans, Louisiana, drew record attendance.

Donors contributed tens of thousands of dollars to bring it to Longview and several special events are on tap in conjunction with the show.

The exhibition was assembled from pieces in the Rodrigue estate, private collections and museums. Since Rodrigue's death in 2013, the popularity of his work, especially the Blue Dog paintings, have continued to soar.



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