Bonnie Lautenberg combines films and paintings at the Boca Museum
Bonnie Lautenberg combines the work of filmmakers and painters for an exceptional exhibition, Art meets Hollywood, at the Boca Raton Museum of Art. Lautenberg’s digital collage exhibit is on view through August 21 at this South Florida location.
Esteemed creator Lautenberg brings together 28 side-by-side scenes from notable movies and famous paintings that she says are somehow connected. Each of these unique collaborative juxtapositions features images from the same year beginning with 1928 and continuing through 2020 – one visual being a scene from the 1963 film, HUD and Warhol’s painting of Elvis from the same year.
“Lautenberg brings together visuals that she says speak to each other, taking us on her colorful journey to explore how these two art forms have amazing parallels and are beautifully paired,” said the executive director of the Boca Raton Museum of Art, Irvin Lipman.
The work on display
This major project has been in the making for five years. The exhibition includes a wide range of these combinations year by year:
A scene from the 1975 film Jaws in combination with Willem de Kooning’s 1975 painting of elaborate colors and chaos that could be interpreted to represent an ocean with blood below the screaming characters of the movie still above.
Lautenberg includes a scene from the most recent film hidden numbers (2016) with a painting by Mark Bradford titled “Tomorrow is Another Day” from that year. A scene from the movie big hotel (1932) is below the painting “Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1” by Georgia O’Keeffe.
A scene from Greta Garbo’s 1928 film The Mysterious Lady is set with the painting “The Lovers” by iconic surrealist artist René Magritte; a scene from the 1994 Quentin Tarantino film pulp Fiction is combined with Kenny Scharf’s “Globe Glob” painting; and the iconic image of Gene Kelly on the lamppost of his 1952 classic Sing in the rain is next to “The Sea” by Yayoi Kusama; among many other thought-provoking pairings.
The artist also adds more personal touches, for example the painting by Stuart Davis “Hot Still-Scape for Six Colors – 7th Avenue Style” with a scene from Philadelphia History (1940) because she had grown up around this painting, which her father owned, in her childhood home.
By juxtaposing the 1999 american beauty scene and James Turrell’s “The Light Inside,” Lautenberg struggled because she wanted to include the painting, but she struggled to find a scene that matched it. The changing colors of the classic movie scene caught his eye when the reds seemed to match perfectly, resulting in the digital stitching of the two.
“The brilliance of these juxtapositions is the way she illuminates the psychological connections between each film scene and each work of art,” says Lippman.
During his research for this exhibition, Lautenberg realized that this was not an isolated idea, but rather a reality for many filmmakers and artists. One example was artist Lucio Fontana’s motivation to create one of his large red-cut canvases, saying he was mainly inspired by the scene in Antonioni’s 1964 film. red desertwhich of course she associated with painting.
“It reinforced my belief,” Lautenberg says. “Throughout the history of art, artists have always been influenced by an on-going force in the world around them.”
The Boca Raton Art Museum, Art meets Hollywood show went even further than the creator’s connections. Patricia Ward Kelly, widow of the late Gene Kelly and creative director of the Gene Kelly Legacy Project was touched by the inclusion of her husband’s work in the exhibit. Lautenberg’s jumpsuit from Kelly’s scene of Sing in the rainwhere he’s sprawled from a lamppost, umbrella in hand in the pouring rain, alongside Kusama’s “The Sea” shows a connection evident in the scene’s brick and paint patterns, as well as color and sentiment general in both sides.
Patricia Ward Kelly came out to support the opening of the exhibit, expressing her love for the unique idea. Sing in the rain received even more recognition this year, as a 4K Ultra HD version was released in honor of its 70th anniversary.
About Bonnie Lautenberg
Lautenberg’s work has varied in material over the course of his career, sometimes focusing on photography or writing with more traditional fine art media. His creativity has been showcased alongside Warhol, Lichtenstein, Longo, Kass and Ed Ruscha. In addition to creating his work in this exhibit, the artist is co-producing a new Broadway musical about artist Andy Warhol. Although still in development, this project has been approved by the Warhol Foundation and will soon see the light of day.
Her photography really took off in 1993 when the Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement was captured and since then she has remained faithful to the craft.
Some of Lautenberg’s works can be found in the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture, the New York Historical Society, the Broad Museum in Los Angeles, the Newark Museum of Art, the Portland Museum of Art, and the Stillman College Art Gallery in Alabama. .
She also contributed to the series of portraits titled How They Changed Our Lives: Senators as Workers in the permanent collection of the Library of Congress.
Lautenberg’s photograph of Barack Obama has been featured in the Howard Greenberg Gallery and other collections across the country as well as the West Wing of the White House, the Newark Museum, and the Smithsonian’s Museum of African American History and Culture .
In addition to her work as an artist, she serves on the President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts (PACA) among many other esteemed roles.
Lippman is thrilled to present Lautenberg’s work for this two-month exhibition at the Boca Raton Museum of Art, explaining, “Through her painstaking considerations, she brings to life in every moment, the spark of creativity that these couples might have shared. She has a keen eye for the visual elements of humanity and culture that arise.
Learn more about Bonnie Lautenberg and Art meets Hollywood at bocamuseum.org.