NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale Unveils The Daily Act of Art Making Exhibition Series

The inaugural display features solo exhibitions for South Florida artists Matthew Carone, Jaime Grant, and Elizabeth Thompson.

The NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale has announced the launch of a new exhibition series, The Daily Act of Art Making, running from Feb. 25 to Aug. 4. The series will feature three separate solo exhibitions by South Florida artists who have dedicated their long careers to the daily act of art making. Each artist chosen for the series has a unique art-making practice they have honed daily for many years. German painter Gerard Richter’s writings inspired the series’ title, which chronicled his lifelong dedication to the process, method, and private reflections of painting in his book, The Daily Practice of Painting (1995). The exhibition is curated by Bonnie Clearwater, the Director and Chief Curator of the museum.

The solo exhibitions feature:

Hidden Visions Past and Future: Matthew Carone has become a prominent figure in the South Florida art scene due to his daily executed gestural abstractions. His artwork ranges from pure abstract expressionism to figurative expressionism and the latest patterned, almost calligraphic abstractions guided by an innate sense of movement and rhythm. Carone describes his process as similar to automatic writing, where the spontaneous image he seeks is a consequence of a gesture. He finds the dialogue with this discovered image the most challenging part of the process, as he strives to keep the painting in a state dictated more by the subconscious than by rational, disciplined procedure. Despite attending the University of Miami as a music major and having no formal art education, Carone considers himself self-taught. He learned from his older brother Nicolas Carone, a well-known Abstract Expressionist painter, and through his close friendship with Roberto Matta, an influential surrealist and abstract painter. The Judith Ann Linnell Foundation Fund of the Community Foundation of Broward supports Carone’s work.

The Panamanian artist Jaime Grant, a long-time resident of South Florida, discovered his passion for drawing, painting, and sculpting in his 40s. He believed a spirit visited him and drove him to create more than 5,000 paintings and machines reflecting the struggle between good and evil. Grant’s work focuses on various themes related to human experiences and struggles, including historical situations and national and international events. Each piece is depicted with magic realist tones grounded in surreal facades. Grant has set up a solo exhibition that includes a vibrant room of fluorescent paintings, an installation of found-object sculptures of buildings and motorized trucks, and battery-operated boats that will patrol a row of fish tanks. He is also a member of Les Vagabonds Collective, which aims to bridge the gap between the artist and the art world.

The posthumous exhibition showcases the commanding canvases of mysterious narratives by Elizabeth Thompson, who lived from 1954 to 2023. While planning to install this exhibition, Thompson drew inspiration from the subterranean Ancient Roman Garden Frescoes from the Villa Livia (39 BC) in the Palazzo Massimo museum in Rome. The first gallery features an immersive installation of her paintings of Florida’s Everglades, which she painted during her stay in the natural preserve as part of the National Park Service’s Artists in Residence Program in 2006. These naturalistic paintings are grouped with her later surreal Movie Theater series, depicting empty outdoor movie theaters that intrude into the wilds of a tropical landscape. A second room features her subsequent Beautiful Disasters paintings, which showcase ominous storm clouds. Thompson painted these by pouring paint onto an unstretched canvas on the floor, allowing the “accidents” created by the poured paint to dictate the eventual subject and composition of the work. After studying painting at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 1976, Thompson pursued her career in Paris, New York, and South Florida. Her paintings were featured in 17 solo exhibitions and multiple group exhibitions.

The NSU Art Museum in downtown Fort Lauderdale is a renowned destination for exhibitions and programs that cover the entire gamut of civilization’s visual history. It is particularly noted for its impressive collection of Latin American art and contemporary art with a focus on works by Black, Latin American, and women artists and pieces by American artist William Glackens and the European CoBrA group of artists.

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