Two fascinating exhibits are opening side by side at the Boca Museum of Art (501 Plaza Real, Boca Raton): One contains enigmatic art, the other a New Guinean Skull Rack. An Unfinished Conversation: Collecting Enrique Martinez Celaya includes 19 works by the famous Cuban-born artist and Delay Beach resident, including paintings, watercolors, and one bronze. The collection was lent to the museum by filmmaker Martin Brest, director of Meet Joe Black. Celaya canvases the themes of memory, voyage, and isolation, and other hallmarks of human life. Celaya has an education in quantum electronics, and his works have been compared to the writings of famed philosopher Ludwig von Wittgenstein.
African, Oceanic and Meso-American Treasures is an extraordinary collection of 40 sculptures, masks, ritual objects, and other artifacts. To tribes in places like New Guinea and Gabon, these objects were the props for everyday life. Displayed in the West at the beginning of the 20th century, these pieces awed artists such as Picasso just as a cluster of UFOs might fascinate an observer today. Primitivism, the notion that life was better during prehistoric times, influenced the Dadaists, Surrealists, and German Expressionists, among many others. Even though this exhibit draws artwork from the museums permanent collection, some items have never before been displayed.
An Unfinished Conversation runs until January 10, and African, Oceanic and Meso-American Treasures until May 2. Admission costs $8 or less. Hours are Tuesday from Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Call 561-392-2500, or visit bocamuseum.org.
Tue., Nov. 24, 10 a.m.; Wednesdays-Sundays, 10 a.m. Starts: Nov. 24. Continues through Jan. 10, 2009