VISUAL ARTS The Art Of Sexuality:
Thu, 09/06/2012
Special To The Jewish Week

Laura Kruger was inspired to mount “The Sexuality Spectrum” after observing the discussions that swirled around Marriage Equality Act here last year. “I became frightened by the politics related to it,” Kruger said in a walk-through at the Hebrew Union College gallery space. “It sounded to me like the kind of shouting and swearing in Nazi Germany prior to the Holocaust.”

This exhibition aims to address sexuality artistically. “Art is indeed another language, and like music it can reach people deeply and in a lasting way,” Kruger said. “Images stay in the mind and, frequently, more permanently than words. This particular subject, ‘sexual orientation,’ stands in the middle of the room like some embarrassed elephant until someone comes forth and points out that all sexuality is gloriously varied and diverse.”

The art ranges in approach and interpretation: New paintings by Archie Rand that represent biblical heroines Debora and Yael in his social realist-comic style beg Kruger to question, “How the military can keep women from battle when they have always been in battle on behalf of the Jews”; while Albert Winn’s “Erev Shabbat,” a photograph of the artist and his partner at their Sabbath meal, replete with lit candles, offers an alternative view of the traditional Friday-night dinner. Jacqueline Nichols’ subversive paper cuts designed to look like delicate doilies sharply comment on misogyny in Judaism. (Her solo exhibit opened Sept. 1 at the JCC in Manhattan.)

“The Sexuality Spectrum” opens Oct. 10 and runs through June 28, 2013 at HUC-JIR Museum, 1 W. Fourth St., huc.edu.