By Sandra Schulman
It’s been a long hot summer, so the cool breeze of a new art season is a welcome relief. Major collections figure in shows at the Norton, while the Boca Museum conjures up a little mystery. Bicycles, natural flora, fiber art and art fairs all make appearances.
Norton Museum of Art
With a new director and curators, the Norton has a new energy going into the season. Director Ghislain d’Humières is particularly excited about the exhibits that allow viewers to see art history in the making from era to era.
Artists in Motion: Impressionist and Modern Masterpieces from the Pearlman Collection (Oct. 14-Feb. 18). Featuring 40 paintings, sculptures, and works on paper, the intersecting lives of celebrated late 19th- and early 20th-century European artists, as collected by Henry Pearlman (1895–1974).
“In the fall we are welcoming the amazing collection of impressionist art from the Pearlman Collection from Princeton University,” d’Humières said. “It’s really amazing to have in the building such a broad experience of American modernism, which is really, for me, the first step of contemporary art.”
“When you look at many of these artists, you see so many things, current contemporary art coming from that period. And after you see that period and you go to the third floor and you see the master paintings, you can see the connection and the inspiration for modernism in painting and from modernism to contemporary art. It’s a very interesting art array, chronologically in the 20th century.”
“Then to see the technique again from the 17th to the 18th century to modernism and from modernism to contemporary, you really could, even if you’re not an art historian, visually, you can make connection and the inspiration from one era to the other. I find that always very exciting and fun.”
Among the works are paintings by Paul Cézanne, Edouard Manet, Edgar Degas, Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh, Camille Pissarro, Alfred Sisley, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Amedeo Modigliani, Chaïm Soutine, and Jacques Lipchitz.
The exhibition has a free, richly illustrated digital publication, with essays, an interview, and poems that explore the themes of travel, migration, and creativity.
Another rich collection coming in December is In Presence: The Photography Collection of Judy Glickman Lauder (Dec. 2-March 10). Photographs are the imprint of human experience. Arranged thematically, the exhibition shows “presence” in four sections: Portraits, Admiration, and Delight; Expressions of Place; Specters of History; and Politics, Labor, and Justice.
Using social documentary photographs, Surrealism and even street photography, big-name artists Merry Alpern, Richard Avedon, Irving Bennett Ellis, Dorothea Lange, Alma Lavenson, Danny Lyon, Sally Mann, Susan Meiselas, Inge Morath, Gordon Parks, Edward Steichen, Joyce Tenneson, James Van Der Zee, and Todd Webb thread together visual conversations across decades. This selection of 20th-century photography is drawn from artist and philanthropist Judy Glickman Lauder’s collection; the 110 photographs by 56 artists represent a fraction of Glickman Lauder’s entire collection.
Four hanging scrolls reveal the social and cultural history of China in Symbolic Messages in Chinese Animal Paintings (Oct. 7-Feb. 4).The paintings of tigers by Gao Qi-pei (1672–1734), rabbits by Cheng Zhang (1869–1938), birds by Wang Zhen (1867–1938), and fish by Pu Ru (1896–1963) use animals to tell stories of man and civilization.
Wrapping up the summer season, Past Lives: Performance Art through the Camera (through Nov. 19) follows performance art that emerged early in the 19th century. Futurist and Dada productions gained wide recognition after World War II with conceptual art. Performance artists don’t employ traditional mediums; they use the movement of their bodies and environment to engage viewers. Although typically presented live, performances are captured through photos and videos, preserving the lifespan of the work for a broader audience. Beyond its documentary function, these visual recordings also produce autonomous works of art, such as those on view.
Past Lives: Performance Art through the Camera features a selection of influential performance artworks from the 1980s to the early 2000s. In showcasing these works from the museum’s holdings, the exhibition underscores the significance of performance as a fine art form, while also highlighting the strength of Asian and Asian-American artists in the field.[1450 S. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach; www.norton.org, 561-832-5196]
Boca Raton Museum of Art
Art is always a kind of magic, a trick of the eye, of perception. Prepare to be amazed by the Amazing Randi, a Florida resident and legendary stage magician, also a relentless debunker of charlatans – who was the inspiration for the major new show Smoke and Mirrors: Magical Thinking in Contemporary Art. Referring to magic shows illusions and also the current cultural weirdness of fake-news conspiracy theories and alt facts, this exhibit dares viewers to uncover their own truths in the unreal images.
Artists include the late Sarah Charlesworth, Alfredo Jaar, Mark Thomas Gibson, Kristin Lucas, Glenn Kaino and The Yes Men. In conjunction with Smoke and Mirrors, the museum has commissioned an installation by Tony Oursler of a 3-D film with floating specters, created with Pepper’s Ghost, a trick of the eye technique invented in the 19th century. The film is about his family’s history with magic and stars Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and escape artist Harry Houdini. The project also includes The Cardiff Giant, the 19th century’s most famous hoax, along with Ricky Jay’s archive about it. Other hoaxes include the UFO Fleetwood Monster and fairy paintings. Curated by Senior Curator Kathleen Goncharov (Nov. 15 through Oct. 13, 2024).
Art on BRIC Wall: Juried exhibition at the Boca Raton Innovation Campus. To celebrate BRIC’s architectural history, this show will feature works by talented local artists working in architectural photography. Juried by Miami and New York-based photographer Robin Hill, in the hallways of Marcel Breuer’s innovative creation. (Oct. 18-April 3)
Dorothea Lemeh: Cycles: An installation by Dorotha Udeabgbor Grace Lemeh reflects the artist’s childhood in the North, her upbringing in the South, and her transformative journey to her father’s native homeland of Nigeria. In the installation, Lemeh shares personal stories and invites contemplation on the cyclical nature of life and cultural heritage. (Nov. 15-April 21)
Félix de la Concha: An exhibit of the work of this Spanish-born painter, who was commissioned to make a work for Boca Raton’s centenary. He focused on the Addison of Boca Raton, the first building designed by legendary architect Addison Mizner. It includes the tracks of Henry Flagler’s railroad. (Nov. 6–June 2)[501 Plaza Real, Boca Raton (Mizner Park); bocamuseum.org, 561-392-2500]
Riding into the new season, Bicycles: Technology that Changed the World, highlights the origin and evolution of the bicycle and the profound impact bicycles have on American society and culture. Two- and three-wheeled bicycles emerged during the Gilded Age as a new means of transportation for the wealthy and less fortunate, allowing individuals to move about the world more freely without the expense and demands of acquiring and maintaining horse and carriage.
At its peak, the bicycle revolution in the United States had 300 companies producing more than a million bicycles in a year, becoming among the nation’s largest industries. From the earliest examples in the 1860s to the more sophisticated designs of the 1890s, the exhibition wheels in a rare opportunity to see many vintage examples of early bicycles and realize their impact on American society beyond the Gilded Age. (Oct. 17-Dec. 17)
The second half of the season sees an exhibition of work by Alphonse Mucha, the Czech-born artist whose work became the unforgettable face of the Art Nouveau movement in Paris. The instant you see a Mucha image, with its rarified and beautiful women clad in intricate gowns and swathed in leaves and tendrils, you know you’re looking at Art Nouveau. The exhibit posits Mucha (1860-1939) as an exemplar of a simpler time lost amid the stresses of a rapidly industrializing city. Alphonse Mucha: Master of Art Nouveau runs from Jan. 16 to April 14.[1 Whitehall Way, Palm Beach; www.flaglermuseum.us, 561-655-2833]
Society of the Four Arts
When in Palm Beach, see Scenes of New York City: The Elie and Sarah Hirschfeld Collection. A visual love letter to New York City, this urban exhibit has iconic images of the city’s most beloved architecture — buildings, bridges, skyscrapers, parks, landmarks, and people — by nationally and internationally known artists Theresa Bernstein, Marc Chagall, Willem de Kooning, Rauol Dufy, Keith Haring, Childe Hassam, David Hockney, Edward Hopper, Jacob Lawrence, Fernand Leger, Reginald Marsh, LeRoy Neiman, Georgia O’Keeffe, Norman Rockwell, and Andy Warhol. (Nov. 18-Jan. 28)
Who doesn’t love flowers? In Flora Imaginaria: The Flower in Contemporary Photography, viewers can almost smell the bouquets in the beauty and biodiversity of flora in 71 photographs by 49 acclaimed artists. This spectacular bouquet of art will be displayed in the Society’s Philip Hulitar Sculpture Garden. (Dec. 2-April 28)
Tony Guild Hall in East Hampton, one of the country’s first multidisciplinary centers to combine an art museum, theater, and education program, shares artworks they have exhibited with 72 works by 59 artists, including George Bellows, Lynda Benglis, Chuck Close, Jane Freilicher, Adolph Gottlieb, Jasper Johns, Thomas Moran, Robert Motherwell, Jackson Pollock, and Robert Rauschenberg. Guild Hall: An Adventure in the Arts runs from Feb. 10 through April 28.[100 Four Arts Plaza, Palm Beach; fourarts.org, 561-655-7226]
Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens
Maeda Asagi (b. 1977) is a Japanese artist who creates intricate gem-encrusted, cage-like sculpture/jewelry hybrids. The Morikami Museum’s big fall show, Stories on the Planet, features more than 30 of her works. They are made of wood, Plexiglas, resin, enamel, silver, gold, and semiprecious or precious stones. To add to the complexity, she engraves and paints them with story narratives about family and society.
The exhibit contains her signature piece, Stories on the Planet, a wearable piece portraying 32 cities in 28 countries, consisting of eight removable brooches combined to make one necklace. Everyday life, big occasions, and small celebrations, all take place within the work, whose technical skills go beyond the norm. (Nov. 4-April 4)[4000 Morikami Park Road, Delray Beach; morikami.org, 561-495-0233]
Fiber art and wearable duds meet up in Elegant Threads, a showcase of art-inspired clothing, jewelry, accessories, and artwork that fashion connoisseurs will want in their closets and on their walls. (Through Dec. 2)
Textures, colors, and patterns can bring about emotional reactions – you are what you wear or want to wear. Featuring juried artwork from a nationwide call to artists working in both wearable and non-wearable fiber arts and jewelry will compete for $4,000 in awards while being showcased along with well-known artists Bisa Butler, El Anatsui, and Guilia Andreani. All are on loan from the private collections of Beth Rudin DeWoody and Douglas B. Andrews. A ticketed runway show is set for Nov. 16.[373 Tequesta Drive, Tequesta; lighthousearts.org, 561-741-3101]
Cultural Council for Palm Beach County
A woman’s struggle to make visible the matriarchs in her family permeates the show Lauren Bertelson: Like Mother, Like Daughter. Highlighting her mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother this photo show documents wanting to be seen and appreciated for a life of domestic labor, rejection and dismissal of their accomplishments in busy world.
Bertelson’s work shows desires to both create and destroy, combining self-portraiture with domestic crafts to create a feminist body of work that recognizes her matrilineage and raises domestic work to contemporary art with love and anger and how these sentiments transmit generations of women. (Oct. 6-Dec. 2)
[601 Lake Ave, Lake Worth Beach; www.palmbeachculture.com, 561-471-2901]
Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens
Paul Gervais happened upon Hypoluxo Scrub by chance, and it became inspiration for his next show, An Endangered Landscape: Recent Paintings of the Hypoluxo Scrub. On the Brightline train going north he saw land that was untouched by development. “This is the real South Florida, so intently maintained by those visionaries who chose to preserve it as an invaluable reference, a fragment of Florida ecology all but lost by now.”
His landscapes are intimate and untouched with clean-blown sand, no humans, and natural growth of scrub and oak and palmetto. Gervais is a visual artist and an author. Among his published books are the novel Extraordinary People, a finalist for the prestigious PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, and A Garden in Lucca, a memoir about the celebrated garden he and his husband, Gil Cohen, made at their Italian villa in Tuscany, where they lived for 35 years before eventually taking up residence both in West Palm Beach and in London. (Oct. 11-Jan. 7)[Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens, 253 Barcelona Road; ansg.org, 561-832-5238]
The Palm Beach Show: A luxurious and sophisticated showcase, the 21th Annual Palm Beach Show returns Feb. 15-20 to the Palm Beach County Convention Center. The Palm Beach Show offers high-end items spanning every genre, juxtaposing periods and movements.
The prestigious Palm Beach Fine Craft Show makes its return to the Palm Beach County Convention Center during the same Presidents Day weekend, from Feb. 16-18. This elegant show features the nation’s top contemporary craft artists, offering their latest works in the expansive center.
Palm Beach Modern + Contemporary: Presented by Art Miami at the Palm Beach County Convention Center, this seventh edition (March 21-24) opens with an exclusive invitation-only VIP preview benefiting the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens. South Florida’s premier prestigious winter art fair, PBM+C takes place during the height of season for serious collectors, curators, museum directors and interior designers, providing an look at the most important works available for acquisition in contemporary, modern, classical modern, post-war and Pop eras.
The fair will coincide with the Palm Beach International Boat Show, located along the waterfront and Flagler Drive in downtown West Palm Beach. The show promises $1.2 billion worth of yachts and accessories, including hundreds of boats ranging from 8-foot inflatables to superyachts 200 feet in length.