The Boca Raton Museum of Art recently unveiled three exhibitions that challenge artistic and cultural norms. "Create, Transitions: Victor Matthews and Paolo Nicola Rossini" and "Purvis Young: Works from the Collection" investigate the idea of personal reflection and diverse materials that allow both trained and untrained artists to communicate their ideas.
"Create" is a major group exhibition that features more than 100 pieces of art by 20 artists from organizations that support the work of artists with developmental disabilities. The museum hopes to inspire and educate visitors, pushing the boundaries of contemporary art by encouraging “outsider art,” a term coined by art critic Roger Cardinal in 1972 to describe the work of artists with no formal training or contact with the art world.
On display in the "Create" exhibit:
Bertha Otoya, Serpiente, 2010, sharpie marker and ink wash with acrylic block print on Chinese celebration paper, 22 x 30 inches, courtesy of the artist and Creativity Explored, San Francisco
Outsider art brings fresh ideas and concepts into the creative community and is increasingly recognized for its originality and raw energy in institutions, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
From Purvis Young:
Purvis Young (American 1943-2010), Pushin' on Through, circa 1985, paint on wood, 24 x 30 inches, BRMA Permanent Collection 2006.13.10 Gift of the Rubell Family Collection, Miami
“The 'Create' exhibition offers exceptional evidence that art is a unique and significant method of expression and communication," explained museum director Steven Maklansky. “Additionally, we are confident that the exhibition will compel our audiences to refocus and reevaluate their views on the capabilities and needs of people with disabilities.”
"Purvis Young: Works from the Collection" will celebrate a particularly renowned outsider artist from Overtown, Miami. His works depicted life in one of America’s poorest neighborhoods using found objects, including construction site materials and discarded books. Young’s work communicates the turmoil in his poverty-stricken home, reflecting both images of daily life and personal symbolism he created to convey his perception of urban life.
"Transition: Victor Matthews and Paolo Nicola Rossini" merges with the outsider art in its originality and uninhibited emotion. Matthews and Rossini were inspired by the transient nature of dreams and memories. Their work explores the idea of subconscious thought, time and space.
From "Transition: Victor Matthews and Paolo Nicola Rossini":
Victor Matthews (American, born 1963) Frozen City IV, 2013, wood, canvas, sneaker, paint, and cardboard, 29 x 19 x 7 inches. Courtesy of the Artist
Matthews’ painted sculptures of New York City transform the harsh skyline into a soft white landscape of unimposing and muted skyscrapers, cars and street grids. The serene cityscapes have a calming effect and focus on the underlying beauty often masked by the chaos of urban life.
Rossini’s dreamy photographs capture what feels like fleeting memories, rather than still images. His focus on nature allows him to pull patterns and textures that are instantly recognizable, while digital editing and layering give them an ethereal and distant quality.
For expert insight into the exhibitions, curatorial highlight tours are scheduled throughout the exhibitions’ run, each focusing on a different installation. On Thursday, August 1, Kathleen Goncharov, curator of exhibitions and audience engagement, will lead a tour of "Transition." On Thursday, August 15, Goncharov will lead a tour of "Purvis Young" from 2-3 p.m. On Tuesday, August 20 from 2-3 p.m., Marisa Pascucci, curator of twentieth century and contemporary art, will lead a curator’s whim tour, giving guests a chance to explore the permanent collection throughout the second floor gallery, highlighting seemingly random works that are indelibly linked. And on Thursday, September 12 from 2-3 p.m., Goncharov will lead guests on exploration of "Create."