Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event
Every year in the early winter the world-renowned auction house, Sotheby’s, presents an auction of Israeli and International (Jewish) Art and Judaica. It is always a delight and Sunday, December 12 was no exception. Since it is an international affair, the foremost experts assemble the finest artworks available. The efforts of specialists Rivka Saker, Sigal Mordechai, Daria Gluck, Esta Kilstein and Jennifer Roth of Sotheby’s Israel and Jennifer Roth, Sharon Liberman Mintz, David Wachtel, Elizabeth Muller, John Ward, Jill Waddell, Kevin Tierney here in New York were well rewarded. It was a truly exciting exhibition that frequently surprised one with new insights into many familiar artists.
While I was privileged to attend a private viewing hosted by Nishmat (Center for Advanced Torah Study for Women in Israel), these pre-auction exhibitions are normally open five days before the sale to the public and always have specialists available to answer questions and show off the objects. As I strode into the exhibition I glanced at the diminutive Chagall but decided to look at it later. An evocative pastel, Shulamith (1939) by Abel Pann, had caught my eye.
Pann’s devotion to biblical subjects is well known, combining romanticism with exotic Bedouin costumes to produce what he thought would be authentic visualizations of ancient biblical characters. What was unusual in this piece was that he had found an inner life to a predominantly sensual character. The Shulamith is mentioned in Song of Songs 7:1 as an exquisitely beautiful dancer, at least in a literal translation. Others have associated her with Avishag, the young virgin brought to the aged King David when he could find no warmth. In either case we normally think of this woman in physical terms. And yet here Pann has depicted a young redhead pensively draped over the branches of a tree in full bloom. She rests her hand alongside her face deep in reflection. Aside from a bare bracelet-covered arm, she is quite modestly clothed; the only sensual thing about her is the bright orange necklace and bracelet that the artist expertly threads around her and the tree blossoms.
Around the corner was an equally surprising Moshe Castel (1909-1992). Born in Jerusalem to an ancient Sephardic family, he studied art at the Bezalel School and in Paris, and finally settled in Safed where many of his paintings pictured the Sephardi community of his youth. Looking for Mashiach, painted in 1947, depicts five robed figures lightly walking across a nightscape. Each is brilliantly colored, all facing a mysterious globe in the sky containing an arm and hand. Hovering off to the side are two angels, while down in the valley below a little village glows. This scene of mystery and wonder takes on special significance considering the year it was painted. Israel was being flooded by survivors of the Holocaust and was only a year away from becoming the first independent Jewish state in more than 1900 years. In their own ways many were “looking for Mashiach.” Castel may have been the only artist actually painting it.
These are just a sampling of the 293 works of art, Judaica, books and manuscripts offered for sale at Sotheby’s this year. It was breathtaking and I strongly suggest taking it in at next year’s Sotheby’s exhibition and sale of Judaica and Israeli and International Jewish Art. Who knows what we might discover?
About the Author: Richard McBee is a painter and writer on Jewish Art. Contact him at email@example.com
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
Almost immediately the audience began singing and clapping and continued almost without stop throughout the rest of the concert.
As of late, vintage has definitely been in vogue in the Orthodox community.
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.
I probe a little deeper and Shula takes me into the world of phantom pains and prosthetic limbs.
This went on until she had immersed eighty times, and then Hashem at last took pity upon her.
Shame is often confused with guilt and humiliation.
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.
“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.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/sothebys-jewish-vision-2/2010/12/30/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: