The Jewish Museum

Memory, History And Albert Speer

Dani Gal’s video installation, ‘As from Afar.’

Special To The Jewish Week
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It would be hard to conceive of a more controversial figure in the Nazi inner circle than Albert Speer. One of Hitler’s closest confidantes, Speer was a master architect who had the ear of the failed-artist-turned-Führer. He was an integral part of the totality that was Nazi Germany, the chief creator of the Nazi public aesthetic, as well as the minister of armaments and munitions from 1942 on. Yet Speer was one of the very few high-ranking Nazis to declare his own guilt and shame publicly and to reveal the inner workings of the German government under Hitler in his memoirs.

In Dani Gal's "As From Afar," at The Jewish Museum, actors portray a post-World War II meeting.

Words Matter, A Lot

Mel Bochner’s ‘Strong Language’ show challenges our notions about reading and seeing.

Culture Editor
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Mel Bochner’s new show at The Jewish Museum involves a lot of reading. The more than 70 drawings and paintings are lists of synonyms, portraits conveyed with words, texts with philosophical leanings and emoticons, too.

Bochner’s “Language is Not Transparent.” Will Ragozzinno/The Jewish Museum

Celebrating 1960s Global Minimalism In Style

To celebrate its new exhibit on global minimalist sculpture, “Other Primary Structures,”  The Jewish Museum opened its galleries and hosted a dance party for revelers last week.

Installation view of "Other Primary Structures" at The Jewish Museum, New York. David Heald/The Jewish Museum

Returning Anew To Minimalist Sculpture

“Other Primary Structures” at The Jewish Museum can be seen as a nod to the institution’s past. The museum staged a major exhibit of minimalist sculpture called “Primary Structures: Younger American and British Sculptors” in 1966.

Installation view of "Other Primary Structures" at The Jewish Museum, New York. Courtesy of David Heald/The Jewish Museum

Spiegelman, In Words, Images And Music

Glimpses into the graphic novelist’s unique world where pictures and text ‘Co-Mix.’

Culture Editor
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As a young boy, Art Spiegelman would copy cartoon strips about Little Lulu and Donald Duck. By 14, he was illustrating his own stories with homemade comics, and at 15 he created and distributed his own satire magazine, Blasé. The magazine had edge; a young woman on the cover of a 1964 edition is asked, “What’s a nice girl like you doing on a cover like this?”

“Self-Portrait with Maus Mask,” 1989, above. Copyright © 1989 by Art Spiegelman. the artist and The Wylie Agency LLC.

The Year Ahead: Jewish Museum Going Edgy

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Who would have expected The Jewish Museum to host an avant-garde fashion show during the Performa festival or invite Lena Dunham to host a Purim party at the Park Avenue Armory? The 109-year-old institution — led by its new director, Claudia Gould — has been shaking things up and increasing its relevance. The shift in exhibitions and programming has been alienating to more than a few longtime members who feel they do not connect with the roster. For its part, the museum is showing that it is trying to reach a greater balance by continuing to offer familiar names such as Chagall, albeit in a new light. It continues to offer mainstay family programs and daytime lectures.

Jewish Museum director Claudia Gould. Arthur Elgort

Looking Back At Art Spiegelman’s Retrospective

What is beautifully presented in “Art Spiegelman’s Co-Mix: A Retrospective” at The Jewish Museum, in addition to original drawings from the “Maus” series, is the enormous range of work that Spiegelman produced beyond those volumes. Included are comic books, magazine illustrations, children’s books illustrations, political satire, trading cards and stickers, New Yorker covers, and even a collaboration with the dance group Pilobolus and a stained glass window for The High School of Art & Design, just to name a few.

Art Spiegelman, It Was Today, Only Yesterday (detail), 2012, The High School of Art and Design, New York.  Copyright © 2012

From The Runway To Sacred Space

Multimedia installation is not a novelty on the contemporary art scene. Even the inventive fusing of avant-garde couture, architecture and video is not without precedent. However, The Jewish Museum’s exhibition “threeASFOUR: MER KA BA,” is hallowed ground. This is space made sacred by its fervid devotion to intricate detail and the purity of its spiritual vision. The effect is disorienting and ethereal.

Clothing © 2013 threeASFOUR. David Heald The Jewish Museum and Art Production Fund

Chagall’s Darker Side

Contemplating the iconic painter’s ‘displaced’ years, when his central metaphor was the crucifixion.

Jewish Week Book Critic
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For many, Marc Chagall’s paintings are easy to love. His vibrantly colored landscapes are dreamscapes full of life and longing, with many motifs drawn from his observant home in the Russian town of Vitebsk. 

“Persecution,” collection Herta and Paul Amir, Beverly Hills, California. © 2013 Artists Rights Society

Midnight In Times Square

Tonight at 11:57, and every night through the end of August, those passing through Times Square will have the opportunity to see artist Jack Goldstein’s film “The Jump” on more than 15 large digital screens, usually displaying ads.

Jack Goldstein, "The Jump," 1978,16mm color silent film. Courtesy of Galerie Daniel Buchholz and the Estate of Jack Goldstein
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