See now below Boca Raton Art Museum, Bonnie Lautenberg channels the creative zeitgeist between filmmakers and artists in each year she intuitively charts from 1928 to 2020.
The new exhibition “Art Meets Hollywood” is the museum premiere of Bonnie Lautenberg’s new series of digital collages, 28 Diptychs, which combine scenes from famous films with iconic works of art. Lautenberg’s only rule for her experimental process is that both the film and the artwork were made in the same year.
Lautenberg plays the matchmaker for the 1957 film Funny Face, combining Audrey Hepburn’s bold pose with Clifford Still’s painting PH971 – both majestic and glamorous. Viewed together in the museum gallery, the combination makes perfect sense, as if they were made for each other. In another work from this series, the terrifying scene she chose from the 1975 film Jaws literally screams above a painting by Willem De Koning, conjuring up blood pouring into the water below. Their combinations can also be surprising and intriguing: who would have thought that Paul Newman’s scene from the classic 1963 film Hud would look so ideal next to Warhol’s seminal painting of Elvis from the same year?
“Lautenberg puts together images that she believes speak to each other and takes us on her colorful journey to explore how these two art forms have amazing parallels and fit together beautifully,” says Irvin Lippman. “Through her careful deliberations, she brings to life every moment and spark of creativity these pairings may have shared. Lautenberg has a keen eye for the visual elements of humanity and culture that emerge. Through the brilliance of these juxtapositions, she illuminates the psychological connections between each film scene and each work of art.”
During the last five years that she 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 greatest red paintings, influenced by what he saw in the big screen (left picture). “It strengthened my faith,” says Bonnie Lautenberg.
“Throughout the history of art, artists have always been influenced by a force at work in the world around them. I started thinking about how artists working 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 author based in New York and Palm Beach. Over the past 30 years, her work has been featured in gallery exhibitions, museums, and art fairs across the United States.
Lautenberg’s work is currently on display at the New York Historical Society’s Center for the Study of American Culture.
Some of Lautenberg’s pairings in this series, shown at the Boca Raton Museum, also come from her own personal history. In the 1960s, her father bought 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 that it was still in the same frame it had been over the many years it had hung over her family’s fireplace.
This new exhibit in South Florida, Art meets Hollywoodwhich opened at the Boca Raton Museum of Art at the same time as another celebration of film and artistic creation, Art of the Hollywood Set: The Creative Legacy of Cinema. Both shows together at the museum are a cinephile’s dream come true.
Bonnie Lautenberg is an esteemed artist, photographer and author. Her work has recently been featured at the Jean Albano Gallery in Chicago and at David Benrimon Fine Art in New York in the Rethinking America exhibition alongside works by Warhol, Lichtenstein, Longo, Kass and Ed Ruscha. To view her artwork and photography, visit Bonnie Lautenberg.com, where the artist features images she has taken over the past 25 years in Israel, Antarctica, Cuba and around the world.
Bonnie Lautenberg: Art Meets Hollywood
Boca Raton Art Museum
501 Plaza Real
Boca Raton, FL 33432