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My Jewish Art Criticism Dénouement

26 Iyyar 5772 – May 17, 2012
It all started at an art and education conference at the Yeshiva University Museum. When one of the speakers misidentified a Goya painting at the Frick Collection, both the gentleman sitting next to me and I turned to each other and corrected the error simultaneously.

A Jewish Palimpsest In Maastricht, Netherlands

13 Iyyar 5772 – May 4, 2012
One of my favorite places when I was growing up in Boston was the used bookstore on Beacon and St. Mary’s streets. Boston Book Annex could play a used bookshop on television; it was dimly lit and cavernous, crawling with cats, and packed with a dizzying array of books, many of which sold three for a dollar. But used bookstores of this sort, however picturesque and inviting, are a relatively modern phenomena. In the Middle Ages, for example, I would never have been able to afford even a single used book unless I had been born into an aristocratic family. (Full disclosure, I was not.)

Marc Chagall At TEFAF Maastricht

28 Nisan 5772 – April 19, 2012
Jewish medals, several with Hebrew inscriptions and provocative imagery, were among the gems at The European Art Fair (TEFAF) in Maastricht, Netherlands, as I wrote in these pages two weeks ago. Another mini-trend at the fair, which will interest Jewish art aficionados, was an abundance of works by Marc Chagall.

Jewish Medals At TEFAF

15 Nisan 5772 – April 6, 2012
It’s virtually impossible to ignore the financial aspects of TEFAF Maastricht, the annual arts and antiques fair in the historic city about two hours south of Amsterdam. More than 250 dealers from nearly 20 countries sell their wares—which span from Greek and Roman antiquities to contemporary sculptures—in the halls of the Maastricht Exhibition and Congress Centre, whose corridors are adorned by nearly 65,000 tulips.

Max Ferguson’s Portraits Of His Father

1 Nisan 5772 – March 23, 2012
Max Ferguson’s 1993 painting Katz’s may be the second most iconic representation of the kosher-style delicatessen after the 1989 Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan film, When Harry Met Sally. Ferguson’s photorealistic painting depicts the deli from an interesting perspective, which is simultaneously inviting and hostile—in short, the dichotomy of deli culture.

Thinking Outside The Tzeddakah Box

16 Adar 5772 – March 9, 2012
The whole idea of an artful pushka (tzeddakah or charity box) is almost a tease, if not an outright mockery. Isn’t there something pretty backward about investing time and money in an ornate container to hold alms for the poor?

The Purim Narrative At The Pardo Palace

4 Adar 5772 – February 27, 2012
Located about nine miles north of Madrid, the Palacio Real de El Pardo (Pardo Palace) dates back to the early 15th century. Devastated by a March 13, 1604 fire that claimed many works from its priceless art collection, the Pardo Palace and its vast gardens were used as a hunting ground by the Spanish monarchs.

John Logan Approximates Mark Rothko

18 Shevat 5772 – February 10, 2012
Red By John Logan; directed by Robert Falls; starring Edward Gero and Patrick Andrews Jan. 20 – March 11, 2012 Arena...

Hebrew Bible From Lisbon At The MET

3 Shevat 5772 – January 26, 2012
Within Shakespeare’s worldview, an assassination like Macbeth’s of King Duncan upset the so-called Great Chain of Being, or the cosmological organizational chart, in which power structures that were clearly articulated could only be disrupted at a cost.

In Search Of South African Jewish Art

1 Shevat 5772 – January 24, 2012
I went to the South African Jewish Museum in Cape Town with high hopes of seeing how South African Jews uniquely approached the fine arts and Jewish ritual objects.

Have Artists Envisioned Nebuchadnezzar As Hero Or Villain?

9 Tevet 5772 – January 4, 2012
“Despite the fateful part he played in Judah’s history, Nebuchadrezzar [Nebuchadnezzer is sometimes referred to this way] is seen in Jewish tradition in a predominantly favorable light,” wrote Henry W. F. Saggs, the late Assyriologist, toward the end of his Encyclopedia Britannica entry on Nebuchadrezzar II (c. 630—c. 561).

The Physics Of Flame Combustion

20 Kislev 5772 – December 15, 2011
Just because the miracle of Chanukah defied physics doesn’t mean illustrations and illuminations of the Temple and Tabernacle menorahs haven’t grappled with the physics of flame orientation.

Jewish Depictions Of Hell

19 Heshvan 5772 – November 16, 2011
Although it’s the Hebrew month of MarCheshvan—known as “mar” or bitter, because it’s devoid of holidays, unlike the preceding month which has the High Holidays and Sukkot, and the next month which ushers in Chanukah—that’s not why I’ve been thinking about hell (gehinnom in Hebrew) a lot lately.

David Levine, 1924

5 Shevat 5770 – January 20, 2010
At a parent-teacher conference, one of my high school bible instructors told my mother I was well behaved and sat quietly in the back of the room. "If he is sitting quietly in class," my mother assured the rabbi, "he is either reading a book or drawing." She was right. My primary high school achievements were my ravenous readings of philosophy and literature and the few hundred copies I made of David Levine's brilliant pen-and-ink caricatures, which filled several sketchbooks. I was too young to get most of his political references, but when they were explained to me, I laughed genuinely and hysterically.

David Levine, 1924 – 2009: A Satirist Who Loved His Species

At a parent-teacher conference, one of my high school bible instructors told my mother I was well behaved and sat quietly in the back of the room. "If he is sitting quietly in class," my mother assured the rabbi, "he is either reading a book or drawing." She was right. My primary high school achievements were my ravenous readings of philosophy and literature and the few hundred copies I made of David Levine's brilliant pen-and-ink caricatures, which filled several sketchbooks. I was too young to get most of his political references, but when they were explained to me, I laughed genuinely and hysterically.

The Insecure Prophet: Walking A Mile In Nathan’s Shoes

15 Elul 5767 – August 29, 2007
When the prophet Nathan woke up in the morning and saw his to-do list for the day - rebuke the king of Israel for his sin with Bathsheba - did he hit his snooze alarm and try, like the prophet Jonah, to shirk his duty?

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

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