web analytics
August 22, 2014 / 26 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



Home » Sections » Arts »

Archie Rand: Three Major Works

McBee-112511-Daniel

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!

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.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Archie Rand: Three Major Works”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Photo: Rotter.net / Tikonist
Live Updates: Ashdod Shul Hit by Rocket (Latest Update: 5:28 pm)
Latest Sections Stories
Teens-082214

As they fall upon us we go
To the WALL.

Twenties-082214-Girls

One minute you’re shaving shwarma off a pit, then the shwarma guy tells you he read a (fake) WhatsApp that the boys are dead.

Lewis-082214-Gaon

I probe a little deeper and Shula takes me into the world of phantom pains and prosthetic limbs.

Astaire-082214-Main

This went on until she had immersed eighty times, and then Hashem at last took pity upon her.

Because Menachem lives in Israel, he can feel the ruach in the air.

Perhaps you can reach a compromise during this news frenzy, whereby you will feel more comfortable while he can still follow the latest events.

Leon experienced the War of Independence from a soldier’s perspective, while remaining true to his Jewish ideals and beliefs.

Chabad of Arizona centers recently hosted an evening of remembrance to mark the 20th yahrzeit of the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

A CPE class at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center in Brooklyn was tailor made for Orthodox participants.

“I didn’t choose the landscape; it chose me.”

Woe to us that we have to be put to death like common heathen and murderers!

More Articles from Richard McBee
Jerusalem to Jericho Road: photograph by Chanan Getraide
“Chanan Getraide Photographs”: 2004 exhibition at Hebrew Union College Museum

“We are living in a Golden Age of Jewish Art, but don’t know it.”

McBee-062014-Outside

He refuses to flinch from our painful history, perhaps finding a kind of solace in the consistency of irrational enmity directed against us.

“Vidduy: The Musical” breaks through the formidable barrier of repetitive confession to allow us to begin to understand what is at the heart of this fundamental religious act.

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

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.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    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: