Boca Raton Museum of Art
501 Plaza Real, Boca Raton, FL 33432
In Mizner Park
T: 561.392.2500 F: 561.391.6410


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Thursday, May 30, 2013
Larry Rivers, Liberty Leading the People and Defacement at the Louvre

One of the most interesting pieces I’ve seen hanging in the Permanent Collection galleries here at the Boca Museum of Art is the painting by Larry Rivers. Even if you have never heard of this artist, the piece should be very familiar.

It is an homage to a very famous French painting by Eugène Delacroix from 1830, Liberty Leading the People, hanging in the new branch of the the Musée du Louvre in Lens, France, (which incidentally was defaced recently with no permanent damage).

Completed near the end of 1830, Delacroix depicted a very modern subject. This is the July Revolution, also known as the French Revolution of 1830. It was known as The Three Glorious Days in which the Parisians overthrew King Charles X, the last Bourbon king of France, and replaced him with Louis Philippe, Duke of Orléans.

While Delacroix was unable to personally take up arms in the uprising he fulfilled his patriotic duty through depicting the event in a dramatic and visually forceful painting. He wrote to his brother that October "I have undertaken a modern subject, a barricade, and although I may not have fought for my country, at least I shall have painted for her. It has restored my good spirits."

Delacroix 1830 – Chaos and Purpose oil painting by Larry Rivers at the Boca Museum of Art
Larry Rivers
(American, 1923-2002)
Delacroix 1830 – Chaos and Purpose 1993
Oil on canvas mounted to sculpted foam board
80 x 98 inches
Permanent Collection 2007.5.26
Bequest of Isadore and Kelly Friedman

In this allegorical composition where the personification of Liberty is charging into battle atop a landscape strewn with corpses, every kind of Parisian is represented:

  • Gavroche from Victor Hugo’s novel Les Misérables, who represents the student and youths in revolt (figure at the far right);
  • a factory worker (the figure on the far left with the saber);
  • the bourgeoise (the figure in a top hat); and
  • a temporary worker of Paris (the man raising himself up in the foreground).

Delacroix was a leader in the Romantic Movement and the genuine and impassioned take he brought to this work of art embodied the noble truth of the uprising and the greatness of Parisian citizens.

Larry Rivers, a postwar American artist associated with pop art, is famous for reworking and reinterpreting classical paintings by mixing grand art and absurdity. While living in Paris in 1950, Rivers was influenced greatly by the large-scale paintings hanging in the Louvre and when he moved to New York afterward took up painting full time. He became what is known as a gestural realist.

Rivers’ work combines loose gestural marks that encompass abstract expressionism with realistically rendered images drawn from history and popular culture. This piece by Rivers hanging in our gallery is a perfect example of this style of painting and a stunning addition to our permanent collection. Have a question about the Boca Museum of Art? Call us at (561) 392-2500 or send the Boca Museum an email.

Dorbani, Malika Bouabdellah. July 28: Liberty Leading the People.
Lye, Harriet. Larry Rivers. American Center France.

Posted by: Catherine Quinn, Curatorial Intern @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
Monday, May 20, 2013
Annual All Florida Juried Competition and Exhibition: A Retrospective of Winners
Gregory A. Jones, Two Piece Chair

1. Gregory A. Jones (Lakeland), Two-Piece Chair, 1997, acrylic and mixed media, Best in Show 1998

Cheryl Tall (Stuart), Festina Tarde
2. Cheryl Tall (Stuart), Festina Tarde, 1998, clay, Best in Show 1999
Diana Shpungin, Thirty Layered Paintings
3.Diana Shpungin (Deerfield)Thirty Layered Paintings, 1999, linen, gesso, acrylic and ink, Best in Show 2000
Carol Prusa, From our Belly
4. Carol Prusa (Boca Raton)From our Belly, 2003, silver graphite black titanium white and acrylic binder on wood, Best in Show 2003

If you follow the Boca Raton Museum of Art at all you know about our annual juried competition, but do you really know what it’s all about?

It’s about supporting and promoting exposure for Florida artists and giving our community an opportunity to see what’s happening in the arts in their own backyard.

It is a showcase of the best in emerging and professional artists in Florida, is the state's oldest annual juried competition and is a way for the museum to reinforce its commitment to local artists.

This year’s accepted entries for the 62nd installment are installed right now through July 14th.

Started in 1951, this competition displays a variety of photographs, drawings, videos, paintings, sculpture and mixed media that come together to represent a myriad of artistic expression. While the competition has always had cash prizes, it wasn’t until 1998 when the title of “Best in Show” was distinguished. Gregory A. Jones from Lakeland was the first to win this honor with his painting Two-Piece Chair (1.) and is still dominating similar competitions. Last year he won (for the third time) Best in Show at the 47th annual DeLand Outdoor Art Festival.

Our Best in Show winners represent local artistic talent who have achieved recognition in the arts beyond just the Boca Museum.

Carol Prusa is an artist from Boca Raton who is frequently featured in our annual exhibition and has been awarded several times. Her From our Belly, (4.) 2003 was awarded Best in Show but she has also won several Merit awards throughout the years. Most recently she was represented by Bernice Steinbaum Gallery in Miami (2011) as well as at Coleman Burke Gallery in Chelsea in New York City (2010) and she is now represented by Zadok Gallery in Wynwood, Miami.

Another Boca winner from 2004 is Denise Moody Tackley with  Is It So? #2 (5.). Her artwork deals with the deconstruction of the American feminine myth. Her work was most recently shown at the 10th International Open at Woman Made Gallery in Chicago.

Lou Ann Colodny (6.) was the founding director of MoCA, Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami and director of its precursor, COCA for 15 years. She has works in the permanent collection of the Miami Museum of Art, the Southeast Museum of Photography in Daytona, MoCA, Miami-Dade Community College, Miami-Dade Public Library Collection, and the Okaloosa-Walton College in Niceville. Colodny has exhibited all over South Florida and has made quite a name for herself with her videos, drawings, installations and photographic work.

Pip Brant (8.), a fiber style artist, uses a plethora of found materials in her work. Brant has exhibited her work in the United States and abroad in Belfast, Ireland, Lithuania and London, England. She was awarded the South Florida Cultural Consortium for Visual and Media Arts for Tabled Reports.

Vanessa Diaz’s sculpture The Offering (12.) 2012 was last year’s recipient of Best in Show. The mixed-media work is a combination of furniture pieces that come together to create a surreal yet organic piece which justly earned its title.

Our juror’s selections represent the best Florida artists have to offer and we relish the opportunity to present their creations to the public. Come on out to the current show to see this year’s winner for his body of work, Geoff Hamel’s (13) monumental colored pencil works.

Denise Moody Tackley, Is It So? #2 Lou Anne Colodny, Saturation Lynn Davison, Modesty
5. Denise Moody Tackley(Boca Raton), Is It So? #2, 2003, screen safety pins, Best in Show 2004 6. Lou Anne Colodny, Saturation, 2002-3, video, Best in Show 2005 7. Lynn Davison (Naples), Modesty, 2007, oil on canvas, Best in Show 2007
Pip Brant, Blood Veil Nadine Saitlin, Small Red Landscape Kerry Phillips, Chairs Found and Fixed
8. Pip Brant (Hollywood) Blood Veil, 2008, installation, Best in Show 2008 9. Nadine Saitlin (Boca Raton), Small Red Landscape, 2009, acrylic paint and pastel on canvas, Best in Show 2009 10. Kerry Phillips (Miami), Chairs Found and Fixed, 2010, installation-chairs, zip ties, duct tape, vinyl, string, rope, wood, paper, Best in Show 2010
Bonnie Wolsky, Tangled Palms Vanessa Diaz, The Offering Geoff Hamel, I Want My Life Back
11. Bonnie Wolsky(Coral Gables), Tangled Palms, 2011, watercolor on paper, Best in Show 2011 12. Vanessa Diaz (Boynton Beach), The Offering, 2012, sculpture, Best in Show 2012 13. Geoff Hamel (Lehigh Acres), I Want My Life Back, 2011, colored pencil on board, 32 x 94 inches, Best in Show 2013
Posted by: Catherine Quinn, Curatorial Intern @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (1)
Monday, April 15, 2013
Interning at the Boca Museum: The Myth of the Camera Stealing the Soul

Today is early into my third month interning at the Boca Museum of Art under Registrar Martin Hanahan. As an English major and Linguistic minor, people look at me oddly when I tell them the internship I pursued. But through my studies in English, I learned every facet of art is intertwined seamlessly, and we must pursue each type to experience what art is. Artists paint with many colors, writers paint with two.

Our words, in perfect black and white, show how colorful life is. And artists, with their cubism and their expressive modernism, offer an abstract sense of life that playfully incites our senses. The beauty of art is that it does not tell you what to think, or even how to think. It simply is. Just like music. So, after studying the great writers, I decided to pursue a different approach to the world of expressive awareness. I am drawn to art because it is quiet, but even the quietest painting, possibly in hues of blue, still sends our senses diving into an ocean of consciousness. Art, like literature, can affect society by presenting something we are afraid of, or by creating a calming space in which we find solace.

Either way, art, music, and literature are the catalysts that strip away fake and replace it with raw. Whether artist, writer, photographer, we tell the story of life boundlessly with no restrictions. We welcome consequences. We are renegades of the present. This is how I found myself in a museum instead of a library. I am surrounded by artifacts that tell of our history without words; silent pronouncements of truth. Quiet frames hang on quiet walls and tell stories of lovers, children, animals, trees. Loudly they spill their secrets, forever surrounded by a gold frame, in remembrance of a tender, experienced hand.

Last week I documented 13 old photographs: daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, and tintypes. I also stored 11 cameras dating from the Second World War to the 1960s. The photographs were produced in the 1800s; each “type” produced differently. Daguerreotypes (1840-1855) are extremely reflective photographs on polished silver. Ambrotypes (1855-1865) are not shiny like daguerreotypes, but matte, because the photograph emulsion is coated on glass with black paint that often cracks and darkens the picture.

Tintypes (1855-1900) are black painted tin- exposed. There is rarely any tarnish and it does not have a reflection. It doesn’t come in an ornate case like the other two because it is not fragile. So the type of picture that goes on these artifacts usually contains an unsmiling, somber subject who looks like she or he has no idea what is going on. Pulled from the farm, or the church, or the kitchen, the subjects exude nothing artificial about them. In fact, you feel as though you are standing there, facing them (which we very well could be). Their attitude (or lack of) in the photographs sent my mind reeling. It is so different from the way we take pictures today- with our poses and our scrunched faces and our obscene gestures.

The myth about the camera stealing the soul feels very real with these pictures. For some reason, our technology often fails to gather the real soul of a person, possibly because the entire experience of photography has changed into point and click. Easy to capture moments, but there is something distinctly un-timless about them. Perhaps this is why there are so many programs that offer ways to alter photographs in an effort to lend them some authenticity.

Now, each moment is real, but sometimes moments are so on-the-surface that we fail to appreciate the way of life- the harshness of it, the cold and the hot, the good and the bad. When people took photos in the 1800s, their faces show of struggle, of reserved resignation, sometimes exultation or humble adoration. But in each person’s face, there exists a question of the future. And this question creates a formidable distance between the person and the photographer.

Juxtaposed with the present, we pretend not to ask questions of the future because the answer is always the same- we don’t know. Why did we stop searching in an effort to look in control? It is not more becoming for a person to take a beautiful picture that has lost all sense of wonder. The people in these old photographs are asking questions of everything, even themselves.

Pioneers, renegades of the present, their souls are wondering, wandering, losing, and finding. They are not afraid to show vulnerability or strength. Their experiences are genuine because each moment has its own breath and the wildness of the photographs emulate the wildness of their world. In a world where we attempt to control the uncontrollable, a sense of magic has flown away.

To find it, we must live in and breathe every moment without contention for the past, anxiety for the future, or resistance of the present. We must accept the query. Just as these forever-young pioneers in their gold frames asked questions of the future without abandoning the present or escaping to the past. We could learn to do the same, and avoid the midlife crisis of waking up in chains. Visit the Boca Museum of Art (561) 392-2500

Daguerreotype portrait of a young girl

Unknown artist, Portrait of a Young Girl, ca. 1850, daguerrotype, 3 x 2 ½ inches. Permanent Collection 1991.128F. Museum Purchase

 Ambrotype portrait of an elderly woman in a bonnet

Unknown artist, Portrait of a Woman in a Bonnet, ca. 1850, ambrotype, 4 ¾ x 3 ¾ inches. Permanent Collection 1991.128T. Museum Purchase

 Tintype portrait of two young boys, seated

Unknown artist, Two Children, ca. 1850, tintype, 3 x 2 ½ inches. Permanent Collection 1991.128. Museum Purchase


Posted by: Adrienne Decramer, Curatorial Intern @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Understanding Jody Culkin: Refashioned – A Contemporary Artist, Fashion, and Feminism

Today is Tuesday, March 12, 2013. And today Martin, the Registrar at the Boca Museum, had me document each piece of the exhibition Jody Culkin: Refashioned. This exhibition subverts traditional functions of women’s apparel. Now, Jody Culkin: Refashioned is slightly left of wacky, right of weird, and smack dab in the middle of wait, what, why?! Let me paint you a picture: mesh, broken glass, chains, bright fabric, water, light, cameras, and eyes.

clientuploads/Blog Images/Kelli-Blog2.jpgJody Culkin: Refashioned reveals the chains of women fashion, and reinvents them in a capricious light to expose the issue of fashion: our clothes can make us prisoners. Much of her inspiration came from the Victorian household she grew up in (inside information thanks to curator Kathy Goncharov, a close friend of Culkin’s). So the contemporary artist refashioned pieces of art take modern daywear and transform them with a Victorian element.

As an active feminist, Culkin’s art also contains elements of female anatomy. This image sparks confusion in our minds as we try to compartmentalize the vision of the art. But contemporary art is not meant to be compartmentalized, it has an agenda of its own, and a large amount of history to play with. There is a refashioned burka out of white mesh with little purple propellers on each sleeve. This may be so the wearer can fly away from her repression.

However, the onlooker will notice the gold rectangle as the eye piece and it creates a sense of suppressed, imprisoned, clothing that is not simply a woman’s dress but her fabricated chains. And as we view this piece, we feel trapped, ensnared. A little to the right is a hanging chain of black mesh filled with broken glass. It begs the question, what kind of jewelry are your chains made from? Subversive, yes. Repressive, no!

As I fulfilled the task of documenting and measuring each piece of art, a few museum visitors took a look around. The immediate reaction of many was to turn and walk away- I actually heard “no, I don’t like this” from a woman within the first 20 seconds looking around her. Other women would exclaim at how cute the purse with the roving eyes is, but they would silently pass by the more abrasive elements of the collection. I wanted to give them a tour so they could understand that this exhibit is meant to cause unease! 

clientuploads/Blog Images/Kelli-Blog2-2.jpgIf only the women would have read the introduction to Jody Culkin: Refashioned they would have understood this art is not to look pretty. It is not to please the eye. It is to open the mind through the eyes. It is meant to make you feel. The exaggeration of the refashioned pieces is a call to arms: as a woman, how does our dress confine us? Does it present a feminine image that is meant to please the looker? Does our dress please us at all besides in the validation of the onlookers?

And which ogglers are we dressing to impress, exactly? How are we empowered when we display our bodies in this way? The exhibition itself exposes that if something is not “appealing” or “pleasant” to look at, our immediate reaction is to recoil. Does this look nice? No? Then I want nothing to do with it. How would you feel if people talked about you that way? And if we realize that we have the same reaction, wouldn’t it be better to take a moment and let the art enter our brain, twist around our neurons and shoot something?

We cannot only appreciate the beautiful, the perfectly packaged. Most of it is just a mirage. Once we stop aiming for perfection and niceties we could accomplish something with our minds, our voice. Hence contemporary art, such as Jody Culkin: Refashioned, is an expression of where our world came from, the history of the upright Victorian society. And Jody Culkin: Refashioned is also a silent commentary on our reactions to something a contemporary artist refashioned to be less than perfect. Chains or shackles, our perception must break those gold and silver loops that keep us lost and mesmerized.

Posted by: Adrienne DeCramer, Curatorial Intern @ 12:00:00 pm  Comments (0)
Friday, March 22, 2013
Are you familar with the Boca Museum Artists' Guild?

The Boca Raton Museum of Art may be renowned for its extensive collection of fine art and for its impressive array of exhibitions but few may know the significant impact the museum has with current artists working in our community. The Artists’ Guild, an auxiliary of the Museum, is a very organized and self-sufficient community of artists who maintain a gallery in downtown Delray Beach. With over 20 juried exhibitions a year and over 350 members, the Boca art guild fosters the success of local artists while supporting the Museum with a portion of its proceeds.

Interior View Boca Museum Artist Guild      Lorrie Turner Inside Boca Museum Artist Guild

Upon entering The Artists’ Guild Gallery I was met by Lorrie Turner (above) who has been involved in the arts since she was a child and has been a Boca art guild member ever since she first moved to Florida nearly nine years ago. She overflowed with information and enthusiasm as she told me everything there is to know about how the guild works. However, the main source of her excitement seemed to be the sense of community created among the members of the guild. Lorrie explained that when she moved to Florida and didn’t know a soul, she joined the Boca Museum artist guild and was provided with an immediate circle of friends which has only grown throughout the years. The guild gives artists an opportunity not only to exhibit and sell their work but to network with other artists and grow through each other’s feedback and collaboration.

Boca Artist Guild member Durga Garcia with Model Photo by Durga Garcia,

© Durga Garcia  "The Tutu and the Airplane"

I spoke with local photographer and curator for the Palm Beach Photographic Centre in West Palm Beach, Durga Garcia (above), who is in the process of becoming a signature member of the guild. This status would allow her to exhibit in the gallery space so long as her works pass the double jury process, of which I have no doubt they will. Durga is very active in the South Florida art scene and her work has been awarded in many local, national and international juried competitions in addition to her work at the Boca art guild.

So, for all you art enthusiasts out there don’t forget to visit The Artists’ Guild Gallery and see what today’s local artists are coming up with. Keep in mind there is the “Artists’ Choice Gallery” section in that rear of the Boca art guild where they display smaller canvas pieces, prints, photographs and sculptures for those art lovers on a budget. So stop on by and show your support for local artists as well as the Boca Museum of Art!

For more information please visit 512 East Atlantic Ave, Delray Beach, FL 33483 (561.278.7877) to learn more about becoming a member of the Boca Museum artist guild.

Posted by: Catherine Quinn, Curatorial Intern @ 9:00:00 am  Comments (2)
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CVV2 is a security measure for credit cards. Since a CVV2 number is listed on your credit card, but is not stored anywhere, the only way to know the correct CVV2 number for your credit card is to physically have possession of the card itself. All VISA, Discover, MasterCard and American Express cards made in America in the past 5 years or so have a CVV2 number. However Diners Club does not use a security code.

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