On view now at Boca Raton Museum of Art, Bonnie Lautenberg channels the creative zeitgeist between filmmakers and artists during each year that she intuitively chronicles, starting in 1928 up until 2020.
The new exhibition “Art Meets Hollywood” is the museum premiere of Bonnie Lautenberg’s new series of digital collages, 28 diptychs pairing scenes from famous films alongside iconic works of art. Lautenberg’s only rule for her experimental process is that both the film and the artwork originated within the same year.
Lautenberg plays matchmaker to the 1957 movie Funny Face by combining Audrey Hepburn’s bold pose with Clifford Still’s painting PH971 ‒ both majestic, and both glamorous. When viewed together this way in the museum gallery, the combination seems to make perfect sense, as if they were made for each other. In another work from this series, the terrifying scene she selects from the 1975 movie Jaws literally screams above a Willem De Koning painting that conjures blood spilling into the water below. Her pairings can also be surprising and intriguing: who would have imagined the 1963 scene of Paul Newman from the classic movie Hud would look so ideal next to Warhol’s seminal painting of Elvis from the same year?
“Lautenberg pulls together visuals she feels speak to each other, taking us along on her colorful trip to explore how these two art forms have amazing parallels and are beautifully paired,” says Irvin Lippman. “Through her careful considerations, she brings to life each moment in time and the spark of creativity these pairings might have shared. Lautenberg possesses a keen eye on the visual elements of humanity and culture that arise. The brilliance of these juxtapositions is how she illuminates the psychological connections between each film scene and artwork.”
During the past five years she has worked on this series, Lautenberg made a crucial discovery: the artist Lucio Fontana was so moved by the Antonioni film Red Desert that he created one of his largest red paintings, influenced by what he saw up on the big screen (pictured left). “This solidified my belief,” says Bonnie Lautenberg.
“Throughout art history, artists have always been influenced by some force going on in the world around them. I started thinking about how artists who work in different art forms might have influenced each other. I decided to explore how one art form can influence another,” adds Lautenberg.
Lautenberg is an artist, photographer and writer based in New York and Palm Beach. During the past 30 years, her works have been featured in gallery shows, museums and art fairs throughout the United States.
Lautenberg’s work is currently on view at the New York Historical Society’s Center for the Study of American Culture.
Some of Lautenberg’s pairings in this series featured at the Boca Raton Museum also stem from her own personal history. In the 1960s her father purchased the 1940s Stuart Davis painting Hot Still-Scape for Six Colors ‒ 7th Avenue Style. In this pairing, she juxtaposes the Davis painting with a scene from the 1940 film The Philadelphia Story (pictured right). Lautenberg admired this painting at home during her childhood, and the family sold the painting some 25 years later. Ultimately, the work was donated to the Boston Museum of Fine Art. Years later, Lautenberg was reunited with the painting when she visited the museum and was heartened to see it was still in the same frame it had during the many years when it hung over their family fireplace.
This new exhibition in South Florida, Art Meets Hollywood, opened at the Boca Raton Museum of Art concurrently with another celebration of films and artmaking, Art of the Hollywood Backdrop: Cinema’s Creative Legacy. Both shows together at the Museum are a dream come true for cinephiles.
Bonnie Lautenberg is an esteemed artist, photographer and writer. Her work was recently shown at the Jean Albano Gallery in Chicago, and at David Benrimon Fine Art in New York, in the show Rethinking America alongside works by Warhol, Lichtenstein, Longo, Kass, and Ed Ruscha. To view her artworks and photography, visit BonnieLautenberg.com where the artist showcases images she has taken in Israel, Antarctica, Cuba, and around the world for the past 25 years.
Bonnie Lautenberg : Art Meets Hollywood
Until August 21st, 2022
Boca Raton Museum of Art
501 Plaza Real
Boca Raton, FL 33432