Boca Raton Museum Presents Three Breakthrough Artists

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Boca Raton Museum Presents Three Breakthrough Artists
The Darkness Containment Machine, by Sri Prabha (2023). India ink and acrylic on canvas.



BOCA RATON, FLA.- “Spirit lives in everything” ‒ This iconic quote by the late artist Sari Dienes is the entryway to the standout exhibition by the Boca Raton Museum of three breakthrough artists: Sari Dienes (1898-1992), Matthew Schreiber (b. 1967), and Sri Prabha (b. 1969). Each artist is showcased within their own gallery in this winning trifecta, across a panorama of art encompassing the Museum’s first floor. All three spaces are curated by Kelli Bodle, Associate Curator. “These three artists all bring to light the tools of perception; and visitors who experience this tour de force at the Boca Raton Museum will find an imaginative, multi-sensory panorama of art,” says Irvin Lippman, the Museum’s Executive Director. “It is Sari Dienes' now famous quote ‘Spirit lives in everything’ that provides a unifying arch into the creative worlds of Sri Prabha, Matthew Schreiber and Sari Dienes” (on view June 14 – October 22).

Sari Dienes was an important figure during the seminal decades of the Mid-Century art world in New York, and an inspiration to Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg. Her exhibition, Incidental Nature, features three core elements of her six decades of artmaking: her 1950s street rubbings, works inspired by her time in Japan, and portraits of her famous circle of artists. Matthew Schreiber is one of the world’s foremost hologram and laser artists. Exploring Schreiber's process more deeply than any previous showing of his work, his drawings and holograms in his exhibition, Orders of Light, include ephemeral images of spiritualist medium communities in Lily Dale, New York, and Cassadaga, Florida. His works on paper feature blind contour studies, peripheral view drawing, and lens-less photography. Sri Prabha masterminds a site-specific installation titled Resonator-Reanimator, fusing ideas from Vedic eastern philosophy and western science to explore our connection to the natural world. Melded together, they land the viewer within a psychedelic multiverse of saturated colors.

Sari Dienes: Incidental Nature

The complete quote by Sari Dienes, in its entirety – “Spirit lives in everything. It has no age, no color, no sex” – welcomes museumgoers as they enter the first-floor galleries. Celebrated as “the doyenne of the American avant-garde,” Dienes is finally receiving the national acclaim she deserves. Her work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and The Whitney Museum of American Art, and is included in the permanent collections of many of the country’s leading museums (see more about her sixty years of artmaking at saridienes.org/life/exhibitions). Most of the works in this show are from the Sari Dienes Foundation, led by Barbara Pollitt who created the educational film about the artist: youtu.be/qKUr-l-EbJ0. One of the signature works in this exhibition is from the collection of Beth Rudin DeWoody.


Photos of Sari Dienes creating her sidewalk rubbings (courtesy of the Sari Dienes Foundation).

Dienes (1898-1992) was a descendant of Eastern European royalty, and her stature in the art world stretches back to the 1930s in Paris and London. She was born in Debrecen, Austria-Hungary and emigrated to the U.S. in 1939 at the age of 41. Dienes was an original member of the Neo-Dada movement of the 50s and 60s, and her impact upon Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns is undeniable.

In the early 1950s, her pioneering works prophesied what would later become the Pop Art movement. Her visionary use of found objects was years ahead of the curve. Dienes worked in a wide range of media, including painting, drawing, textile design, sculpture and ceramics. In her large-scale “Sidewalk Rubbings” of the 1950s and 1960s she created bold, graphic, geometrical compositions, via impressions of manhole covers, subway gratings and other elements of the urban streetscape. This she did often in the middle of the night to avoid pedestrians, accompanied by some of Manhattan’s most famous artist friends who helped her stretch her 30-foot-long fabric on the sidewalk. Dienes lived and worked alongside a stellar circle, including: Yoko Ono, the composer John Cage, the choreographer Merce Cunningham, experimental filmmaker Stan VanDerBeek, as well as Johns and Rauschenberg. A portion of this exhibition features her portraits and rubbings of some of her famous artist friends, including a large portrait of John Cage and bodily rubbings of Ray Johnson’s arm.


Left-to-right: Polaroid portrait by Andy Warhol of Sari Dienes; photo of Sari Dienes by Warren Inglese.

Dienes was known for making the exterior world her canvas, taking her materials out of the studio and into the streets. This central idea to her work, of making the exterior world her canvas, stemmed from Zen Buddhist philosophy, which she absorbed during her sojourn to Japan. A selection of works created in Japan will be on view in this new exhibition. She also created rubbings from ancient rock carvings known as petroglyphs.

This exhibition features more than 50 works by Dienes, plus a singular collection of ephemera including a Polaroid portrait of the artist photographed by Andy Warhol, and photographs of iconic Bonwit Teller department store window displays from the 1950s that showcased some of America’s leading artists of the era. Learn more at saridienes.org.

Matthew Schreiber: Orders of Light

The Brooklyn-based artist Matthew Schreiber was born in 1967, in Cleveland. He is recognized as one of the world’s foremost hologram artists, and is celebrated for his laser light sculptures. His Lab produces fine art holography on a curated and invited basis, and some of the Lab’s current artists include Paul McCarthy, Ed Ruscha, and Deana Lawson. Since childhood, Matthew Schreiber has had a dual interest in art and science. For this exhibition, the Museum selected more than 50 works, most never shown before, including works on paper, holograms, and photographs. Watch video of his holograms at vimeo.com/451650206. His interest in basic principles of nature has led to a deep and continued investigation of light. By maintaining an actual laboratory –the Schreiber Holography and Optical Laboratory, located in Brooklyn – he continues to feed and inspire his art. He worked as the chief lighting expert for the artist James Turrell (from 2000-2013), known for his work in the light and space movement. Schreiber first attempted to build his own laser as a child at the age of seven, inspired by science fiction, fantasy and novelty shops. At the age of fifteen, he made his first laser installation.


Orders of Light is the title of the exhibition by Matthew Schreiber

Recurring themes in his work include a fascination with the occult, spiritualist traditions, and hauntings. In this show in Boca Raton, two of Schreiber’s holograms depict the realm of seances and psychic phenomena at the famous spiritualist communities of Lily Dale in New York, and Cassadaga in Florida. The results are fascinating, multi-dimensional imagery that expands our definition of what can be seen by the naked eye.

See a video of his Cassadaga hologram series at vimeo.com/453452902. Many of the drawings in this show were created by Schreiber while he was in a trance-like state, altering the way he sees. This includes peripheral view drawing (holding his head to the side to use only the edges of his vision); adjusting his eyes to draw in near darkness; and blind-contour studies (without actually looking at the paper, fixing his view only on the outline and shapes of his subject while slowly drawing the contours in a continuous line). “My body becomes a filter for the resulting art that I make while altering my perception,” says Schreiber.


Lily Dale (Hall), by Matthew Schreiber (2020-2023). Transmission hologram on glass with metallization. Orders of Light is the title of the exhibition by Matthew Schreiber

He has exhibited at major museums and galleries, including: the Johnson Museum of Art (Cornell University); MIT Museum (Cambridge); Johannes Vogt Gallery (NY); Swiss Hall, the permanent installation at Herzog & de Meuron Residence in Basel, Switzerland; and a site-specific installation in the Miami Design District, curated by Ambra Medda, the co-founder and director of Design Miami. Schreiber’s holographic expertise was tapped by Deana Lawson for her exhibition at the Guggenheim in New York, where she was honored with the Hugo Boss Prize in 2020. He is one of the few artists in the world working in the field of real (wavefront-recording) holography, which he began as early as 1985 under the tutelage of WWII radar specialist Dr. S.S. Ballard at the University of Florida. Schreiber is known for co-founding C-Project in Miami from 1995-2000, one of the art world’s first-ever holographic production studios where he spearheaded collaborations with internationally renowned contemporary artists, including Richard Artschwager, John Baldessari, Louise Bourgeois, Roy Lichtenstein, Dorothea Rockburne, Robert Ryman and James Turrell. Learn more at matthewschreiber.com.

Sri Prabha: Resonator – Reanimator

Sri Prabha is a multi-disciplinary artist based in South Florida. He was born in Hyderabad, India in 1969. His work emphasizes the artist’s keen interest in contemporary environmental issues, and how humans interact with the natural world. His installations aim for a co-mingling of Vedic eastern philosophies with western science, to tell a richer story. Prabha was recently selected as one of the winners of the 2022 Art Basel Miami Beach public art showcase by the City of Miami Beach, for a monumental installation Cosmic Occupancy (see the video of his spectacular light projection orb for Art Basel at vimeo.com/777854294).


Installation photo courtesy of the artist Sri Prabha

At the Boca Raton Museum of Art, Sri Prabha will create site-specific, multi-sensory installations that people can walk through – mixed media, video, soundscapes and audio frequencies, light projections, interactive structures, traditional Indian sari fabrics, abstract paintings, digital print collages, assemblages, and more – that explore our connection to the natural world. “Through these installations I want to encourage the viewers to meditate on what has come before us, all the way back to the primordial ooze, through today and what we are all passing through together ahead. I want people to get lost in the experience, and get trippy in a shamanistic way.”


Intersections, by Sri Prabha (2023). Archival digital print and mixed media on paper.

Abstract, patterned digital projections of light will sweep the walls, covering paintings and sculptures to create constantly shifting organic forms. Paired with audio of meditative, lulling sounds, the overall feel is that of preparing the mind for meditation. Within this mind frame of meditation, visitors will experience references by the artist to the smallest and greatest elements of our universe. “The idea is for people to go through a portal and realize we are more similar than different, that all of these elements floating around space came together and created us,” says Sri Prabha. “We are all interconnected, and we can change our behavior to work together and collaborate. As civilizations, we like to think that we are different from each other, but we are really not. Our technology is changing rapidly, but our behavior has not kept up.”

Spiraling, pulsing amorphous shapes will call to mind the view through a microscope, and twinkling flashes of light are reminiscent of a telescope’s sight. Melded together, they create a psychedelic environment of saturated colors. One of the exhibition’s interactive elements, titled Spaceresearchcentre, allows people to enter a teepee-like structure to meditate while surrounded by video projections and flashes of light that flicker softly on the fabric walls. Watch the PBS Television profile about the artist at pbs.org/video/artist-profile-sri-prabha-art-loft-801-j0u7oh/. Prabha’s works are in several private collections in Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, Miami, New York, Washington, DC, and Copenhagen. His exhibitions include: the Florida Prize 2019 at the Orlando Museum of Art; Verge Art Fair New York; the King County Public Arts Program in Seattle; Art Palm Beach; the South Florida Cultural Consortium at the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami; and the Toronto Art Fair, among others.










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