web analytics
April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Home » Sections » Arts »

Archie Rand: Three Major Works

McBee-112511-Daniel

Share Button

As Rand continued to develop a multi-faceted strategy (much like Isaiah Berlin’s resourceful fox) of making biblical art that would fully engage the text, he posited that his primary job was to create a visual language that need not be tied to verbal rabbinics.  Increasingly the visual had to be primary for the works to be totally evocative of the narratives.  Psalm 68 (1994) was an early example of this methodology.

Psalm 68 has thirty-six complex verses that chart the struggle of God’s faithful for the Final Redemption and recognition of God’s sovereignty.  Each painting is an abstraction (except verse 12) that accommodates the handwritten text in English in a rectangle (except 4 circles and 1 triangle), each along an edge. Recognizable images can be found, as in almost all abstractions, but I don’t believe this is the point. Rather these paintings operate as visual meditations meant to exist alongside the poetry of the psalm.  They are not representations; rather they are anti-illustrations, simply meant to allow the viewer to read the psalm in a visual context.  Much like biblical poetry, they evoke meaning obliquely, defying easy interpretation.

They also are illustrative of a major theme that runs through Archie Rand’s work: a fascination and love of text in relation to images.  In the “Chapter Paintings” Rand essentially uses the Hebrew name of the parsha as a label atop ornate painted frames that contain the images.  The “Sixty Paintings from the Bible” internalize text in cartoon-like dialogue balloons, embedding text in image.  Finally the text is simply imposed on an abstract image in Psalm 68, emphasizing its distinct function.  Other paintings of Rand likewise experiment with text/image combinations: “The 613,” a series of paintings of each biblical commandment numbers each painting with its equivalent in Hebrew letters, effectively turning a label into numbers that are expressed in text. The “19 Diaspora Paintings” depict the 19 blessings of the Amidah as biblical episodes with prominent Hebrew quotes as part of the composition.  In “Had Gadya,” a series of 10 images from the Passover song, the verses are written in English on the painted frame and then found again in Aramaic in word-balloons in each image.  In more recent paintings by Rand he seems to inevitably include text-balloons, now mostly in Hebrew.

This consistent motif in Rand’s work seems to be aiming for a final reconciliation between the intensely textual bias of Judaism and the equally alluring visual tradition of Western culture.  Rand’s art wants to have it all and, true to form, this fox is unrelenting in his search for the marriage of exciting biblical meaning with a visual experience that fully appropriates our sumptuous Jewish inheritance.   That’s foxy!

Share Button

About the Author: Richard McBee is a painter and writer on Jewish Art. Contact him at rmcbee@nyc.rr.com


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

No Responses to “Archie Rand: Three Major Works”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Flyers ordered Jews to appear at a designated location in Ukraine, in Sept., 1941. The next day, the Jews lined up at the Babi Yar Ravine.
‘Jews Must Register’ Flyer in Ukraine an Echo of Babi Yar
Latest Sections Stories
Schonfeld-logo1

Regardless of age, parents play an important role in their children’s lives.

Marriage-Relationship-logo

We peel away one layer after the next, our eyes tear up and it becomes harder and harder to see as we get closer to our innermost insecurities and fears.

Gorsky-041814-Torah

Some Mountain Jews believe they are descendents of the Ten Lost Tribes and were exiled to Azerbaijan and Dagestan by Sancheriv.

Baim-041814-Piggy

Yom Tov is about spending time with your family. And while for some families the big once-in-a-lifetime experience is great, for others something low key is the way to go.

A fascinating glimpse into the rich complexity of medieval Jewish life and its contemporary relevance had intriguingly emerged.

Dear Dr. Yael:

My heart is breaking; my husband’s friend has gotten divorced. While this type of situation is always sad, here I do believe it could have been avoided.

The plan’s goal is to provide supportive housing to 200 individuals with disabilities by the year 2020.

Despite being one of the fastest-growing Jewish communities in the U.S. – the estimated Jewish population is 70-80,000 – Las Vegas has long been overlooked by much of the Torah world.

She was followed by the shadows of the Six Million, by the ever so subtle awareness of their vanished presence.

Pesach is so liberating (if you excuse the expression). It’s the only time I can eat anywhere in the house, guilt free! Matzah in bed!

Now all the pain, fear and struggle were over and they were home. Yuli was safe and free, a hero returned to his land and people.

While it would seem from his question that he is being chuzpadik and dismissive, I wonder if its possible, if just maybe, he is a struggling, confused neshama who actually wants to come back to the fold.

I agree with the letter writer that a shadchan should respectfully and graciously accept a negative response to a shidduch offer.

Alternative assessments are an extremely important part of understanding what students know beyond the scope of tests and quizzes.

More Articles from Richard McBee
Crossbow and Black Bird (detail) Cervera Bible, (1300), Fol. 445.                                                           Courtesy Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal, Lisbon.

A fascinating glimpse into the rich complexity of medieval Jewish life and its contemporary relevance had intriguingly emerged.

Jo-El/Jore-El (2013) 48” x 60” acrylic on canvas, by Joel Silverstein
Courtesy the artist

Silverstein’s work has long concerned itself with the intersection between the personal and Jewish Biblical narrative, significantly explored in this column in “Brighton Beach Bible” (July 27, 2009).

Not surprisingly the guardians of synagogue tradition is male dominated in both Moses Abraham, Cantor and Mohel and Synagogue Lamp Lighters.

Neither helpless victims nor able to escape the killer’s clutches, the leaders had to make impossible choices on a daily basis in a never-ending dance with the devil.

Bradford has opted to fully exploit the diverse possibilities of the physical surface by concentrating on the three-dimensional application of paint (impasto) and other material.

The ostensible outsider frequently has the privilege of seeing the exclusive inner sanctum with fresh and unbiased eyes. Artists’ initial encounters with the Talmud are equally blessed.

It is a rare season indeed when two major auction houses show not only resplendent offerings of Judaica, but also multiple examples of highly unusual and rare Jewish-themed fine art. That is indeed the case now both at Sotheby’s December 19th auction and the Bonhams recent December 10th auction.

As I described Gaon in a review in June 2001 (“In Search of Ancestors, Sculpture by Simon Gaon” at Yeshiva University Museum), his Bukharian Jewish roots are deeply embedded on both sides of his family, echoed in his early yeshiva education.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/arts/archie-rand-three-major-works/2011/11/24/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: