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Art Basel Season Kicks Off With LADY LIBERTY: A BONNIE LAUTENBERG RETROSPECTIVE at the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU 

On view November 16th through March 26th. The solo museum show celebrates powerful images of women from two decades of art by Lautenberg.

Art Basel Season Kicks Off With LADY LIBERTY: A BONNIE LAUTENBERG RETROSPECTIVE at the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU 

The Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU kicks off Art Basel Season in Miami Beach with the premiere of the new exhibition Lady Liberty: A Bonnie Lautenberg Retrospective (November 16 through March 26).

The solo museum show celebrates powerful images of women from two decades of art by Lautenberg. Spanning her multiple series of photography and conceptual art, the women in these works are admired by Lautenberg for their spirit of freedom and the exhibition includes her portrayals of the Statue of Liberty confronting some of today's most challenging issues.

Bonnie Lautenberg is an artist, photographer and writer based in New York and Palm Beach. Her works have been featured in gallery shows, museums and art fairs throughout the country. One of her Lady Liberty works from 2020 is currently on view at the New York Historical Society Museum's Center for the Study of American Culture, in an exhibition about how New York artists found original ways to express their appreciation for health care workers during the pandemic.

"Our museum is thrilled to premiere this retrospective of Bonnie Lautenberg's images of women shining a light on liberty," says Susan Gladstone Pasternack, the Executive Director of the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU. "In capturing the independent spark of these women through her art, Bonnie Lautenberg reminds us we should never take our freedoms for granted."

"I am so honored to be selected by the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU during Miami Art Week and Art Basel Miami Beach, especially at this time when women's issues are at the forefront," says Bonnie Lautenberg. The Museum is located in South Beach at 301 Washington Avenue, in the historic Art Deco District and is the State of Florida's official museum dedicated to telling the story of more than 250 years of Florida Jewish history, arts and culture.

Featuring more than 30 works by Lautenberg, this exhibition is curated by Jacqueline Goldstein and includes new works that will be exhibited for the first time, created especially for this Lady Liberty museum show. One of these timely new works is Tears of Roe, with tears running down the Statue of Liberty's cheeks and the word Roe added to her crown, lamenting the current challenges to women's freedoms making headlines today. Another new work by Lautenberg is titled Wanted, honoring the historical icon Harriet Tubman who bravely led enslaved Black people to freedom in the 1800s without ever getting caught. This diptych features one of the notorious "Wanted" posters from that era that slave owners used to try to capture Tubman. Alongside this, Lautenberg juxtaposes historic images of the abolitionist next to actress Cynthia Erivo who portrayed the freedom fighter in the 2019 film Harriet.

In her Art Meets Hollywood series of digital collages, she recognizes femme fatales for breaking through barriers in male-dominated times. To Lautenberg, these stars inspired our popular culture with nods to freedom in their own singular ways, including: Barbra Streisand, Viola Davis, Elizabeth Taylor, Judy Garland, Octavia Spencer, Rita Hayworth, Marilyn Monroe, Olivia Newton-John, and more. In each diptych, Lautenberg pairs scenes from their famous films with iconic works of art that were created in the same year as each movie. The artist channels the creative zeitgeist these women might have inspired between filmmakers and visual artists during each year she intuitively chronicles. The museum retrospective also includes Lautenberg's concert photos of Lady Gaga, Andra Day, Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry from her series Pop Rocks, alongside images from other series of works she photographed in New York, Israel, Antarctica, Cuba, Italy, California, and Asia. "The radiance of each of these women in Lautenberg's works stands out at this moment, as the type of luminosity that can help get us through difficult times," says Jacqueline Goldstein, the Curator of the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU. "When viewed together as a group of works, their intensity multiplies."

Lautenberg is an esteemed artist, producer, writer and photographer with multiple projects currently brimming at the national level. With her partner Steve Leber, Lautenberg is co-producing a new Broadway musical about the life of Andy Warhol, approved by the Warhol Foundation. Slated to debut in London next year before coming to the U.S., the new musical will be directed by Sir Trevor Nunn, with book by Rupert Holmes. She is the widow of the late Senator Frank Lautenberg, one of Washington's longest-serving Senators (from 1982 to 2001, then again from 2003 until his death in 2013). She has been described as "having enough Washington insider stories to fill a book" (her new book will be released by Rutgers University Press next year, about the life of her late husband Senator Frank Lautenberg, including her photography).

In 2022, Lautenberg was appointed by the White House to the President's Advisory Committee on the Arts (PACA) which sustains and guides the Kennedy Center, the National Cultural Center of the United States. Lautenberg's work is in several private and museum collections, including the permanent collections of: The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture; the Boca Raton Museum of Art; the Collection of Norman and Irma Braman; New York Historical Society Museum; the Broad Museum in Los Angeles; The Newark Museum of Art; Portland Museum of Art; and Stillman College Art Gallery in Alabama, among others. Her series How They Changed Our Lives: Senators As Working People, is in the Library of Congress online in perpetuity, and was exhibited at Mana Contemporary in New Jersey.

Lautenberg's work has been shown at galleries, art fairs and venue across the country: the Jean Albano Gallery in Chicago; the 92nd Street Y in New York; Monika Olko Gallery in Sag Harbor; Sponder Gallery; the Art Miami fair during Art Basel Miami Beach; the Palm Beach Modern and Contemporary fair; C. Parker Gallery in Greenwich; Vertu Fine Art; the Turkish Embassy at the United Nations; the U.S. Embassies in Madrid and Berlin; Art Market Hamptons; The White Room Gallery in Bridgehampton, NY; and Art Southampton fair. Her work was featured in the recent gallery show at David Benrimon Fine Art in New York, titled Rethinking America, alongside works by Warhol, Lichtenstein, Longo, Kass, and Ed Ruscha.

The Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU is the State of Florida's official museum dedicated to telling the story of more than 250 years of Florida Jewish history, arts and culture. The Museum is housed in two restored historic buildings that were once synagogues for Miami Beach's first Jewish congregation. The original synagogue was built in 1929, and the second, built in 1936, was designed by Art Deco architect Henry Hohauser.

While reflective of the Jewish experience spanning more than two centuries throughout the entire State of Florida, the Museum creates understanding of the shared immigrant experience in our multicultural society.

Using the lens of the evolving immigration experience of Jews in Florida, the Museum serves as a forum to promote tolerance, further global understanding and create connections to Jewish culture, history, arts and contemporary civic life for diverse audiences. Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, the Museum has a growing collection of more than 100,000 items and has achieved a standard of excellence in its methodology for research, collecting, conservation, archiving, storing and interpreting its holdings.

Exhibitions and programs at the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU are made possible with support from the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council; the Miami-Dade Mayor and Board of County Commissioners; The Miami Foundation; the Miami-Dade County Department of Public Housing and Community Development; the City of Miami Beach Department of Tourism and Cultural Development, City of Miami Beach Office of Cultural Affairs, and the Miami Beach Mayor and City Commissioners; the State of Florida Department of State; the State of Florida Division of Cultural Affairs; the Florida Council of Arts & Culture; Southern Jewish Historical Society; the Applebaum Foundation; and the Greater Miami Jewish Federation.



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