The "Contemporary Masters" exhibit at the LSU Museum of Art is a feast for the eyes.

From Andy Warhol to Salvador Dali, abstract to modernist, conceptual to pop, minimalist to figurative, the exhibit showcases art in its many, many constructs.   

"It creates an environment to inspire discussion about what art is and what it can be," says curator Courtney Taylor.

Each piece represents a different interest and experience.

"Contemporary Masters" is a traveling show featuring works on paper from the Art Museum of South Texas. It runs through July 9, bringing together work by regional, national and international artists, with a particular focus on Texas artists.

"Techniques by artists include drawings in pastel, ink, pencil, crayon, colored pencil and charcoal. Serigraphs, lithographs, etchings and monoprints demonstrate the range of printmaking methods," the exhibit's introduction states. 

Adding dimension to the overall story are short artist essays accompanying each piece.

And though the galleries' walls are filled with art, one of the most striking pieces is Lilian Garcia-Roig's 1995 "La Infanta Teotihuacana."

The serigraph "adds a distinctive Latino take on Diego Velasquez's 'Las Meninas,' a 17th-century portrait of the Spanish royal family," the exhibit essay states. "Garcia-Roig elevates an indigenous girl to the rank of royalty with this portrait. She emphasizes features associated with indigenous people of Central America, which became part of the Spanish colonial empire."

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The African culture is the subject of John Biggers' 1970 "A Bountiful Catch," a detailed depiction of African children and women, who are balancing large bowls on their heads. Biggers' essay outlines how his work is devoted to depicting the African-American experience, yet he spent six months in 1957 traveling in African countries. Scenes from the trip became important parts of his work.

Warhol's 1971 serigraph "Cow" also is included in the show.

"The quintessence of Andy Warhol's art was to remove the difference between fine arts and the commercial arts used for magazine illustrations, comic books, record albums or advertising campaigns," the Warhol essay states. "In this print … the animal is presented in an illustrative fashion, with the 'Ben-Day' dots of advertising creating the image and with no background."

Also in the mix is Alexander Calder's American flag-inspired lithograph "Flying Colors '76." The piece was commissioned by Braniff Airways in 1976 for the United States' Bicentennial celebration. A limited-edition lithograph of the design also was produced in the same year.

Then there's the rest of the story. Calder didn't set out to become an artist. He worked several jobs after graduating high school in 1919, including as a fireman in a ship's boiler room.

"On a ship from New York bound for San Francisco, Calder awoke on the deck to see both a brilliant sunrise and a scintillating full moon," the exhibit essay states. "Each was visible on opposite horizons (the ship then lay off the Guatemalan coast). After this experience, he committed to becoming an artist."

Dali's iconic melting clock hangs in this show in an untitled lithograph, offering a "dream-like interpretation of the passing of time and its challenges."

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The show also includes an abstract serigraph by Lee Krasner, titled "Primary Series Goldstone," which actually was created in 1974 for the 1976 Montreal Olympics.

Krasner was a major player in the New York Abstract Expressionist movement, influential in creating the allover painting style that was adopted by her husband, Jackson Pollock.

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Contemporary Masters

Works on paper from the Art Museum of South Texas

WHEN: Though July 9. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday; and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

WHERE: LSU Museum of Art, Shaw Center of the Arts, 100 Lafayette St., Baton Rouge

ADMISSION: $5, age 13 and older. Free for ages 12 and younger, museum members and university students with ID

INFORMATION: (225) 389-7200 or

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