Art’s Full of Change

Man, modernist painters had it rough. Imagine trying to encapsulate America’s industrial renaissance in that peak-and-valley stretch of time between prohibition and World War II. Does a tugboat chugging along the Atlantic really epitomize isolation and anxiety? Do pastoral panoramas of cows munching cud actually reflect post-Depression hardship and poverty? Maybe, but how exactly does a virtuoso with paint and palette crystallize the quintessential human condition? Not easily. So mid-20th century painters tapped their inner Picassos or doused canvasses with nostalgic neo-classical churches and psychedelic abstract skyscrapers – fashioning majestic medleys of the urban and the rural, letting viewers decide the rest.

Speaking of which, you can have a crack at the ol’ tradition vs. innovation debate when the Boca Raton Museum of Art (501 Plaza Real, Boca Raton) trots out Conflicting Currents, a retrospective of over 120 masterworks sampling every trailblazer from abstractionist Byron Browne to realist George Bellows. And although bizarre pastels and beer-goggly geometric shapes might suggest our struggling contemporaries were under the influence, just remember America was a tough stomping ground to define. The exhibition runs through November 4. Tickets cost $4 to $8. Call 561-392-2500, or visit www.bocamuseum.org
Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: Oct. 4. Continues through Nov. 4, 2007

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Phillip Valys