Arts Guide

The (Jewish) Mother Of DNA

04/18/2003
Staff Writer
In March 1953, Maurice Wilkins of the King's College London announced the departure of his colleague Rosalind Franklin in a private letter to his friend Francis Crick, a scientist at the rival Cavendish Laboratory. "Our dark lady is leaving us next week," Wilkins wrote.

'Wartime' For Hitler

04/11/2003
Staff Writer
Just as they had won over some of their harshest critics, the people behind an upcoming miniseries about Adolph Hitler find themselves on the defensive again. This week's TV Guide quotes Ed Gernon, who was executive producer of "Hitler: The Rise of Evil," as characterizing the German leader's ascent to power as a cautionary tale for Americans today.

Giving Second Avenue Its Due

04/04/2003
Staff Writer
Think of the East Village, and the names Charlie Parker, Allen Ginsburg and even Emma Goldman come to mind. At least to the mind of Philip Hartman, a filmmaker and restaurateur who recently founded the Federation of East Village Artists "to honor the historic role of the East Village as the cradle of the city's, if not the world's counterculture," according to the group's press release.

Writers Without Borders

03/21/2003
Staff Writer
Just after the attacks of 9-11, as the intifada simmered outside, Peter Cole, a poet and publisher living in Jerusalem, sat down at the breakfast table to read the morning e-mail from New York. One message contained a verse by the great scholar Gershom Scholem, and it represented one of the first translations of Scholem's poetry into any language.

The View From Inside

03/14/2003
Staff Writer
For those who were spared the horrors of the Holocaust, the events that made up the Nazis' Final Solution persist as a collage of black-and-white images: documentary photographs taken by the Nazis to record their horrific achievements or film footage taken by the Allies as evidence of the tragedy they encountered at liberation. Even Steven Spielberg's cinematic rendering, "Schindler's List," preserved the duotone palette of historical Holocaust memory.

Escape To Africa

03/07/2003
Staff Writer
'Nowhere in Africa," Germany's Oscar entry for this year's best foreign-language film, tells the story of a Jewish family that flees Nazi Germany only to find sanctuary in a different kind of inhospitable terrain. In the film, based on Stefanie Zweig's best-selling memoir "Nirigendwo in Afrika," the Reidlich family (Walter, Jettel and their daughter, Regina) find themselves isolated on a dusty farm in Kenya, besieged by locusts and even detained as resident enemies by the ruling British. Their dislocation nearly breaks the family apart.

High Gloss

02/21/2003
Staff Writer
The Times Square tower where Conde Nast pumps out titles like The New Yorker and Vogue is a river away from Fort Greene, Brooklyn, where Jennifer Bleyer lives. It's a boundary that Bleyer is making very clear. The third issue of Heeb, Bleyer's year-old magazine, hits the streets later this month with a striking disclaimer: "Please note that this is not a f-ing CondÈ Nast publication. It is a tiny independent venture, publishing by the skin of its teeth about twice a year on nothing that even resembles a schedule. Thank you for your patience."

I'll Be Your Mirror

02/14/2003
Staff Writer
The lineup for New York's newest blockbuster art exhibition begins this week as lucky ticket holders for "Matisse Picasso" make their way to the Museum of Modern Art's temporary digs in Long Island City. The retrospective exhibition promises to reward long waits in chilly winds with works that shaped modern art and a thrilling tale of one of the most creative rivalries in art history. Elsewhere in Queens, a different kind of thrill awaits viewers in an exhibition that offers a glimpse of art's future.

Common Artists, Uncommon Art

01/31/2003
Staff Writer
Its creative ranks include recluses, the insane and former prison inmates, but "Outsider Art" is hardly the exclusive domain of social misfits. A tour through the American Museum of Folk Art or any number of galleries specializing in what is also known as "self-taught art" exposes viewers to a rich field of artists (including a notable number of Jewish painters) who, while untrained, display a talent for visual expression appreciated by connoisseurs and common folk alike.

Old School Art

01/31/2003
Staff Writer
The Jewish Folk Gallery is a modest space that can barely contain the artistic output of the emigre artists and artisans who rely on it as a showplace for their work. The walls and the shelves of the 300-square-foot gallery (formerly the first-floor library at Bnai Zion House) overflow with scenes of shtetl life and people at prayer, landscapes of Russia and Israel, engraved copper plaques and carved wooden ritual objects. There is just enough room for a tea-service cart to fit behind the door.
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