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

Designs On The Modern Home

How Jewish designers helped create the ‘Mad Men’ style of modernism.

04/13/2015 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Thanks in part to the popular television show “Mad Men,” a new generation has fallen in love with mid-century modernist design. An exhibit now on view at The Museum of Jewish Heritage called “Designing Home: Jews and Midcentury Modernism” is the first show of its kind to recognize Jews’ accomplishments and contributions to the design style that swept the nation during this “Mad Men” era. It explores the impact Jewish designers had in shaping the streamlined, less-is-more aesthetic in the United States. Not only a “who’s who” of important immigrant and first-generation Jewish designers, the exhibit also acknowledges the importance of the institutions that fostered their creativity.

Henry Dreyfuss, Princess Phone (1959).   Courtesy of The Contemporary Jewish Museum. Photograph: Johnna Arnold

Fabio Mauri’s Outsider Art

The late Italian’s first N.Y. show reveals a border-crossing artist informed by the Holocaust.

03/31/2015 - 20:00
Culture Editor

In between an experiential installation about walking on the moon and a World War II film screened on a wall of old prison lockers, some very challenging art on the Holocaust is on view this month at Hauser & Wirth, an Upper East Side gallery.

Fabio Mauri’s “On The Liberty,” which illuminates the idea of freedom. Hauser & Wirth

‘With Malice Toward None’

Exhibit at New-York Historical Society reveals rich relationship between Abraham Lincoln and the Jews.

03/16/2015 - 20:00
Culture Editor

On June 2, 1864, President Abraham Lincoln issued a parole pass to Charles Jonas, a Confederate prisoner of war, to return to Illinois to see his father on his deathbed. The soldier arrived in Quincy just in time to see his father, Abraham Jonas, still alive.

Lincoln’s letter to Secretary of War Stanton on behalf C.M. Levy, who applied for the position of quartermaster.
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