John Boone: Pairs, Hands & Ohs

Boca Raton Museum of Art

On View July 27 through Oct. 21, 2018 at the Boca Raton Museum of Art

Boca Raton, FL – Hand-painted letters in a digital font are juxtaposed by playful meditations on language by text pop artist John Boone. Idiomatic words and phrases play off each other, often in unexpected ways, through paired paintings and mixed media works.

As the raw subject matter for his paintings, Boone collects words, turns of phrase and colloquialisms, which often coalesce around themes. His ear, a sense of trenchancy and an idea about what is pertinent guide him in the selection of language. His eye, a sense for color and order, plus the presentation structure he has developed determine the outcome on the canvas.

To hear it in his own words: John Boone relates: “Over the past 25 years I have made art which has been a handshake between the human and hi-tech. I have worked exclusively with words and idioms in a digital alphabet, of my design, hand painted on two dimensional surfaces like canvas and paper. I want the work to have a technical presence. The digital font is technical, empirical and precise while the idioms themselves are vague, ambiguous and frequently used. As far as I can see, American idiomatic expressions are perfect, they belong to no one, are not authored by anyone, are a kind of musical language and are used by everyone.”

Drawing conclusions from art movements like Dada, Pop, Conceptual, Fluxus, plus advertising, journalism and conversation John Boone’s artworks are prompts for thinking outside the box.

Three related series are included in this exhibition; the largest is a grouping of five pairs of artworks, in this case the artist sees two pieces together as a way to emphasize the subject matter.  The second group is four paintings from Boone’s recent “Hands” series where he uses a different pairing strategy, in this case it is to reveal the juxtapositions of opposites.  And finally, there are the “Ohs,” a selection of eight small paintings with the word “Oh.”  The pairing here is two letters forming the perfect art statement, astonishment and acceptance.

A New Jersey native, who studied at Earlham College, spent his junior year working in the New York art world and, later a series of New York art schools.  Boone says his first inspiration was New Yorker cartoonist Saul Steinberg who made words and letters characters in his drawings.

John Boone: Pairs, Hands and Ohs is organized by Kathy Goncharov, Senior Curator, Boca Raton Museum of Art, and made possible by the Museum’s Leadership Fund with major support generously provided by the Estate of Ardele L. Garrod, Jennifer & Marc Bell, Jody H. & Martin Grass, Dalia & Duane Stiller, Angela & John DesPrez III, Patricia Savides, the Museum’s Friends Auxiliary, and those who wish to remain anonymous.


Monday, Aug. 6, 2018 / 6:00 - 8:00 pm

Members Midsummer Party [A Boca Chamber Festival Days Event]

Our popular Members Midsummer Party celebrates the opening of John Boone: Pairs, Hands & Ohs as well as the Museum’s new exterior renovation. The event features light bites and libations from local restaurants, live DJ, as well as art tattoos from John Boone.
Museum Members: Free, Guests: $25. Tickets required at


About Boca Raton Museum of Art

Founded by artists, the Boca Raton Museum of Art was established in 1950 as the Art Guild of Boca Raton. The organization has grown to encompass an Art School, Guild, Store, and Museum with distinguished permanent collections of contemporary art, photography, non-western art, glass, and sculpture, as well as a diverse selection of special exhibitions.  The Museum is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10 AM until 5 PM; on Thursdays from 10 AM until 8 PM; and on weekends from 12 PM until 5 PM. Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, and free for students with IDs and children under 12. Learn more at


Please contact Penelope Stockinger for interviews with Senior Curator Kathleen Goncharov, artist John Boone or Museum Executive Director Irvin Lippman. High-res images and captions available via Dropbox: