From a media release
Boca Raton Museum of Art
Hollywood Collides with the Art World
On view until August 21, 2022
Bonnie Lautenberg: Art Meets Hollywood captures the creative zeitgeist between legendary filmmakers and iconic artists
BOCA RATON, FLA 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.
|1957 – Funny Face / Clyfford Still, PH-971|
On view now at Boca Raton Museum of Art, Lautenberg channels the creative zeitgeist between filmmakers and artists during each year that she intuitively chronicles, starting in 1928 up until 2020.
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 Kooning painting that conjures what could appear to be blood spilling into the water below . . .
|1975 - Jaws / Willem De Kooning, Untitled V|
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, the Boca Raton Museum of Art's executive director.
“Through her careful considerations, she brings to life each moment in time, the spark of creativity these pairings might have shared. She possesses a keen eye on the visual elements of humanity and culture that arise."
|1965 – Red Desert / Lucio Fontana|
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 above is the pairing of the two, by Lautenberg).
“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.
"The brilliance of these juxtapositions is how she illuminates the psychological connections between each film scene and artwork,” adds Lippman.
In her 2016 digital collage, Lautenberg combines a scene from the film Hidden Figures with the painting by Mark Bradford Tomorrow is Another Day.
|Hidden Figures with the painting by Mark Bradford Tomorrow is Another Day|
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.
Lautenberg pairs the painting by Georgia O’Keeffe titled Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1 with a scene from the film Grand Hotel featuring Greta Garbo (both from 1932).
|Georgia O’Keeffe's Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1 with a scene from the film Grand Hotel featuring Greta Garbo (both from 1932)|
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 Stuart Davis painting Hot Still-Scape for Six Colors ‒ 7th Avenue Style. In this pairing, she juxtaposes the Davis painting that she admired as a child growing up in her family home, with a scene from the 1940 film The Philadelphia Story (pictured below, both from 1940).
|1940 – The Philadelphia Story / Stuart Davis, Hot Still-Scape for Six Colors - 7th Avenue Style|
The family eventually sold the painting some 25 years later. Ultimately, the painting 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.
|1952 - Singin’ in the Rain / Yayoi Kusama, The Sea|
Pictured above from the Museum exhibition is Lautenberg’s “1952,” her combination of a scene from Singin’ in the Rain with Yayoi Kusama’s painting titled The Sea (both from 1952).
This year marks the 70th anniversary of Singin' in the Rain, one of Hollywood's most beloved films of all time. It was directed by Gene Kelly who also starred in this Hollywood classic. In honour of the film's milestone anniversary, Warner Bros. Studio is releasing a new 4K Ultra HD version of the classic movie.
At the opening reception for Lautenberg’s exhibition at the Boca Raton Museum of Art, one of the special guests of honor that evening was Patricia Ward Kelly (the widow of Gene Kelly). She is the Creative Director of the Gene Kelly Legacy Project in Los Angeles.
In keeping with Bonnie Lautenberg's keen ability to tune into the zeitgeist, this newly released high-resolution anniversary edition of the film is currently making headlines around the world with screenings across multiple cities and at major festivals, including the Cannes Film Festival.
|A scene from the film Pulp Fiction is coupled by Lautenberg with Kenny Scharf’s painting Globe Glob (both from 1994).|
|The painting by Rene Magritte titled The Lovers and a scene from the film The Mysterious Lady (both from 1928).|
About the Artist
Bonnie Lautenberg is an 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 featuring images she has taken in Israel, Antarctica, Cuba, and around the world for the past 25 years.
Take a walk-through of the museum galleries with artist Bonnie Lautenberg, and Patricia Ward Kelly (the widow of the late Gene Kelly, Creative Director of The Gene Kelly Legacy Project in Los Angeles), with commentary by Irvin Lippman, the director of the Boca Raton Museum of Art.