The Arts

Fabio Mauri’s Outsider Art

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

04/20/2015 - 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.” Courtesy of Hauser & Wirth

A Stage For Compassion

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

Often maligned as a singular stereotype in pop culture, in real life the Jewish mother comes in all shapes, sizes and personalities. In Deb Margolin’s new solo work, “8 Stops,” the performance artist copes with her own potentially fatal illness, her son’s terror of death and her sudden impulse to provide succor to a Scottish immigrant boy she meets on the subway. The play opens this week in the West Village and runs until the last weekend of April — just two weeks before Mother’s Day.

Deb Margolin in scene from her one-woman show, “8 Stops.”  Raymond Reilly

Love Across A Jewish Divide

Maxime Giroux’s quietly powerful ‘Felix and Meira.’

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

We live in an age of bombast, pointless excess and noise. If you don’t find enough of those elements in the political culture, check out your local multiplex. One result of the rule of cacophony in 21st-century America is that quiet, contemplative work frequently gets lost, overwhelmed in the marketplace by flash.

Meira and her husband Shulem (Luzer Twersky). Courtesy of Metafilms

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

Volumes Of Remembrance

A sampling of new books about the Holocaust and its aftermath.

04/06/2015 - 20:00
Culture Editor

‘Born Survivors: Three Young Mothers and Their Extraordinary Story of Courage, Defiance, and Hope” by Wendy Holden (Harper) is the story of three women transported to Auschwitz while pregnant. Since pregnancy meant immediate extermination, each hid her pregnancy and managed to survive; each didn’t know that the others were also pregnant. All three gave birth at around the same time, in secret, defying death to give their children life. Growing up, these children — all turning 70 this year — came to know one another and have since become “siblings of the heart.” Next month, they will reunite at Mauthausen to commemorate the 70th anniversary of liberation. Holden is a journalist, author and novelist who divides her time between the U.S. and U.K.

The subjects in Holden’s book will reunite next month.

‘The Capital Of The Crime Against Women’

Sarah Helm’s captivating biography of Ravensbruck, the Nazi’s concentration camp for women.

04/06/2015 - 20:00
Culture Editor

Ravensbruck was the only Nazi concentration camp for women, and it was run mostly by women. The majority of the women killed there were not Jews. They were women with Communist leanings, political prisoners, Gypsies, prostitutes, Jehovah’s Witnesses, members of the resistance, housewives, artists, petty criminals and upper-class women, from different countries.

Helm accessed many previously unavailable documents in telling the Ravensbruck story.  Barney Jones Photography

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

The Sun And Fun Capital Of The World?

Miami Beach in 1972 is the backdrop for Thane Rosenbaum’s antic new Holocaust novel.

03/31/2015 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

In his new novel, “How Sweet It Is!” (Mandel Vilar Press), Thane Rosenbaum rolls back the clock to 1972 and transports us to the less-than-sweet, unglamorous side of Miami Beach. Here, as in his previous works of fiction, Rosenbaum strives to balance moral seriousness with outrageous antic humor as he tries to make sense of what can never make sense: the Holocaust.

In Rosenbaum’s fiction, Jackie Gleason, Meyer Lansky and I.B. Singer collide with a family haunted by the Shoah.

Heidi’s Struggles Still Relevant

03/30/2015 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

When Wendy Wasserstein won the Pulitzer Prize in 1989 for “The Heidi Chronicles,” her overbearing mother, Lola, is said to have boasted that the prize was a Nobel — even the Pulitzer represented a falling short. Little wonder that the play, which is now back on Broadway, centers on a woman who is deeply conflicted about her own professional success, even as she attempts to balance the competing demands of work and family. Charles Isherwood of the New York Times lauded the revival, which opened in mid-March, as “vibrant,” with a “softly radiant” lead performance by Elizabeth Moss (“Mad Men”) as Heidi.

Elizabeth Moss and Jason Biggs in "The Heidi Chronicles." Joan Marcus

Right Of Return

The legal saga of a famous work of Nazi-looted art.

03/30/2015 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

I am not qualified to comment on which road surface takes one to hell, but I will state unequivocally that the superhighway to mediocre cinema is paved with the noblest of intentions. The more serious the subject, the more earnest the filmmakers, the greater the chance for a cure for insomnia. Solemnity is not, in and of itself, a guarantee of profundity.

Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds star in “Woman in Gold,” about the fight over a famous Klimpt painting.  Robert Viglasky
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