web analytics
December 1, 2015 / 19 Kislev, 5776
At a Glance
Sponsored Post

Home » Sections » Arts »

My Jewish Art Criticism Dénouement


I had the opportunity to meet Levine when he invited me to his home. Not only did he confirm that a young man’s hero was actual flesh and blood, but he looked at and commented on every page (about 100 of them) of the sketchbook I brought of copies of his work. He paid me the compliment of saying he preferred one of mine to his own version, although of course there was no comparison. Writing a memorial piece to Levine after he passed was very difficult, and the glimpse I got of him from family and friends who knew him well only confirmed what a special person he was.

Levine would have been the first to admit that he wasn’t a “practicing Jew,” but he once told a reporter, when asked what (medium) he drew in, that he drew in Yiddish. Jewish art, you see, comes in all sizes, shapes, colors, compositions, media, and temperaments. If something declares itself to be Jewish art, it shouldn’t always be believed, and the reverse is true as well. The question of what is Jewish art—which may be unanswerable, and in fact, I certainly hope it’s unanswerable—is worth wrestling with for a long, long time.

I hope you’ve enjoyed our correspondence and eight-and-a-half year dialogue as much as I have. And if you ever see me in a museum or gallery, please do come over and say hi. I promise not to talk your ear off except if we’re discussing Van Gogh. Incidentally, there’s a whole lot about religious art (and Judaism) in a fantastic new biography of Van Gogh, but let’s leave that story for a different time and a different place.

Menachem Wecker is based in Northern Virginia. He blogs for the Houston Chronicle at http://blog.chron.com/iconia , and welcomes readers’ comments at mwecker@gmail.com.

About the Author: Menachem Wecker, who blogs on faith and art for the Houston Chronicle at http://blogs.chron.com/iconia, welcomes comments at mwecker@gmail.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.

3 Responses to “My Jewish Art Criticism Dénouement”

  1. Tom Barron says:

    Sorry to see you leave the paper. Where are you going to write about the Van Gogh biography?

  2. Wow! This is nice. Now, for your help I think this Jewish video goo.gl/BQH4G will really make you feel grateful! This made me feel better and more appreciative about my everyday life. goo.gl/BYMCd

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon
The UN Can’t Support Israel’s Fight on Terrorism since it Considers Israel the Terrorists

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/arts/my-jewish-art-criticism-denouement/2012/05/17/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: