shows at boca museum
Post #469 • February 3, 2005, 6:39 AM • 49 Comments
My trip to the Boca Museum a couple of weekends ago yielded one of my pleasantest museum visits in a while. These shows are all down now, but they and the institution that organized them deserve mention.
Charles Burchfield is one of these oddball American painters that embodies fierce independence, a love of tradition, and do-it-yourself innovative tinkering all at the same time. I would like to see the tradition revived - make your paintings, do what you have to do to get by (even if it means designing wallpaper, which Burchfield did with great inventiveness and style; they had samples on display), and tell the rest of the world to go jump off a pier.
He had ideas of applying abstraction to landscape motifs, and some of the attempts work beautifully, such as Untitled [Gothic Window Trees] below.
But the some of the ones that he played straight were just as gripping. I closed the museum down drawing this beauty (the image hardly does it justice).
His oils were noticiably dingy compared to his watercolors, but they had a sort of labored charm.
A self portrait. I'd like to know what kind of blue he used - it was as opaque as chromium oxide and had a phthalo tone to it, although phthalo hadn't been invented yet. Prussian blue, maybe? Isn't that transparent, though?
Next show - Masters of the Medium: Drawings from the Ackland Collection. Any day you get to see a Fragonard down here is a good day.
Roman Vishniac's haunting photos of Russian and Polish Jews, who were destined to get almost completely wiped out. My grandparents fled these places, and I have to be grateful for their courage - it probably took courage just to get out of bed in the morning, much less out of the country.
I promised the Boca Museum that I would get them some press for a show that was up, which will be easy to arrange - they have an Andrew Wyeth exhibition on display right now. One of my informants tells me of another good show at the Norton. If this keeps up I'm going to have to move to Ft. Lauderdale.