The UNO St. Claude Gallery in New Orleans, in collaboration with PhotoNOLA, is presenting The Steg Polaroids in an exhibit that opens Saturday, Dec. 10. Jim Steg was an influential printmaker who lived, taught and created groundbreaking work in New Orleans.
Considered the most influential printmaker to be based in New Orleans in the 20th century, Steg made a substantial impact on the medium through his own work and his 43-year tenure as a professor of printmaking at Tulane University’s Newcomb College.
Steg mastered nearly every known printmaking technique—including serigraphs, woodcuts, photoresist etchings and ink toner drawings—and invented some of his own. His prints are in the permanent collections of more than 60 museums and institutions, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian Institution.
Late in his career, Steg began working with Polaroids. The Steg Polaroids were created in the late 1980s and 1990s. He took instant pictures with an SX-70, often from the television screen, then deftly altered them. The subjects include faces, figures and ephemera. The images frequently reference art history.
The collection, co-curated by Russel Lord and Jennifer Shaw, exudes a raw, punkish energy, while also expanding on themes that Steg explored throughout his career.
The exhibit opens at 6 p.m. on Saturday. It will be on display through Jan. 8, 2023 at the UNO St. Claude Gallery, 2429 St. Claude Ave. Regular gallery hours are Saturdays and Sundays, noon to 5 p.m., and by appointment.