The Artistic Ties That Bind

Sculptor Chaim Gross’ long and deep connection with the Educational Alliance.

11/15/2016 - 17:59
Culture Editor

A 1938 silent film, “Tree Trunk to Head,” opens a new exhibition dedicated to the work of sculptor Chaim Gross. Viewers can watch Gross transform a chunk of sabicu wood into a polished portrait of his wife Renee. His carving is a kind of choreography, as he achieves graceful, life-like contours.

Gross in his LaGuardia Place studio.  Courtesy of the Chaim Gross Foundation

In 11th-Century Jerusalem, Pilgrims’ Progress

Met exhibit showcases the ‘productive coexistence’ and artistic creativity of the High Middle Ages’ Holy City.

10/06/2016 - 12:28
Culture Editor

Among the many antique manuscripts illuminated in gold leaf, the ornamented glass lamps, the bejeweled canisters and the intricately carved pillars highlighted in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s exhibit on medieval Jerusalem, there is a brass pot, handsome in its simple shape, dating back to the 11th century. It was used for making a signature mix of lentils, raisins, olive oil and bread that was served to pilgrims of all faiths who visited the Cave of Patriarchs in Hebron, usually on their way to Jerusalem.

A pair of bracelets from 11th-century Egypt or Greater Syria. The al-Sabah Collection, Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah, Kuwait

What’s In A Number?

A numerical feast at HUC.

09/13/2016 - 11:00
Culture Editor

The idea of painting by number was born in the 1950s, when one could buy a set of paints that came boxed with outlined drawings, indicating which color belonged where. According to the Smithsonian Institution, which featured an exhibition dedicated to this art form in 2002, by 1954, paint by number had become a cultural phenomenon, and one critic wrote that there were more numbered paintings hanging in American homes than original works of art. And while some denigrated the pastime for its conformity, others celebrated the fact that here was a way for anyone to make art.

Donald Woodman’s “Survivor: Max Mannheim at Dachau.” Photos courtesy of HUC-JIR Museum

Designs On Rio

The gardens, promenades, sculptures and paintings of Brazilian modernist Robert Burle Marx.

06/07/2016 - 13:19
Culture Editor

For much of his career, Roberto Burle Marx’s palette has been nature. One of the most prominent landscape architects of the 20th century, he designed more than 2,000 gardens over six decades.

Bottom right, Burle Marx’s design for education minister’s rooftop garden.  ©Burle Marx Landscape Design Studio

Word, Image And Stage

Three shows around town span genres and centuries.

04/26/2016 - 16:38
Culture Editor

Lynn Avadenka says that a poem and a painting begin the same way: With an artist facing the blank page.

David Wander’s “There Arose a New King Who Knew Not Joseph,” part of HUC’s “Evil” show.

‘Color Is Everything’

In the studio with Isaac Mizrahi, talking about his new Jewish Museum show, his memoir-in-progress and … God.

03/29/2016 - 17:46
Culture Editor

Take in the wall of color, be dazzled by the dresses, and then head to see Isaac Mizrahi’s sketches at The Jewish Museum to best understand the fashion designer’s process. Mizrahi draws by hand, never by computer, in graceful, sure strokes of color, attaching fabric swatches, as though he is telling the stories of the lives these dresses will adorn.

“I think the ability to laugh at myself sets me apart,” says Mizrahi.Photos . courtesy of The Jewish Museum

How Boris Aronson’s Designs Came To Life

New show highlights avant-garde work of influential ‘Fiddler’ set designer.

11/30/2015 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

After a preliminary meeting with director-choreographer Jerome Robbins to discuss his concept for the original 1964 production of “Fiddler on the Roof,” the set designer Boris Aronson felt that he had a good idea of how the production should look. The color, he knew, should be based on the palette of Marc Chagall’s paintings. And the set, as a whole, should also reflect Chagall’s sentimental outlook, he wrote in his notes: “simple-naïve-buoyant-primitive-childlike-charming-delightful to look at.”

A photograph of Aronson’s depiction of Hell in Abraham Goldfaden’s “The Tenth Commandment.” Courtesy of Marc Aronson

‘Interrogating Tradition’

‘Unorthodox’ show addresses orthodoxies such as politics, history, and identity, with artists from outside the canon.

11/09/2015 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

A new exhibit at The Jewish Museum brings together art that in the words of an exhibition handout, “does not fit the framework of the established art world,” and is “relentless in its experimentation, risk taking, annoyance, irritation, and even failure.”

Gülsün Karamustafa’s “First of May (Woman Constantly Sewing Red Flags with Her Sewing Machine),” from 1977. artist and Rampa Gal

Art And Power

Stalinist purges provide a dark backdrop to the avant-garde photography in new Soviet-era show.

10/12/2015 - 20:00
Culture Editor

In a corner of one of the galleries at the beginning of The Jewish Museum’s compelling new show “The Power of Pictures: Early Soviet Photography, Early Soviet Films,” an unusual 1934 photo-book with foldouts and overlays stands in a glass case, resting in its intricate red fabric-covered slipcase.

Georgy Zelma’s “Voice of Moscow” Sepherot Foundation | Collection of Alex Lachman

Drawing The Tradition

In his ‘Visualizing the Bible’ show, David Wander makes the Torah his own.

07/07/2015 - 20:00
Culture Editor

David Wander makes books that might be 50 feet long, illustrating biblical and other stories with great artistic skill, creativity and appreciation of the text and its layers of meaning. One page leads to the next, and the handmade books fold up like accordians.

Wander in his studio: “Writing, burning, writing it again.” Courtesy of David Wander
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