Thursday, August 22, 2013

The rolled-up scrolls of Andi Arnovitz...
and a group show announcement

I'm very pleased to be in a group show this fall with, among others, Andi Arnovitz, whose work reflects tensions that exist within religion, gender studies and politics. Above you can see a close-up and full shot of one of her pieces that will be in the show. This is focused on the marginalization of alternative voices in our tradition and a vision of an alternate reality with a broader inclusion model.

What show?

"Sacred Words, Sacred Texts" – a first-time collaboration between three big Jewish Los Angeles institutions: Hebrew Union College, USC Hillel, and American Jewish University. The group show will be spread out over these three venues, with work from Jewish artists around the world working in many different media. I will have a dozen pieces included in the show, most on loan from private collections.

I'll provide more detail coming up, as well as photos of more works – but in the meantime if you're going to be in L.A. on Sunday, October 13, please join me for the public reception. It starts at HUC at 2 pm and then proceeds to USC Hillel, accompanied on the way by a marching band. There will be a dessert reception at the Hillel, and the event ends at 5 pm.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Art at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem

Saw a lot of great art in Israel, and took a lot of photos to share out here on my blog. This post has some from my trip to the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

Much of this is fairly contemporary, though some of it is a bit older ("Modern"). Some comments included with each photo – please let me know what you think, especially if you have details on related work.

This is a work by Raffi Lavie from 1969 called "Untitled." Yeah, more Modern than contemporary. It's acrylic, pencil, and collage on plywood. I love the stylistic connection to abstract expressionists and the collage work of those Paris guys... and there are hints of things that Basquiat later did in New York.

These next two paintings are from a special exhibit on the Fauves. The top one is a Kandinsky from 1908 called "Mountain Landscape with Village I"; the lower one is from Gabriele M√ľnter, around 1910, called "Sunset over Staffelsee." I love the wild colors. The most well-known Fauve work is arguably Matisse's portrait of his wife, "Woman with a Hat."

I love Man Ray. And getting to see the back of "Indicateurs," which he hand-titled and signed, was a thrill for this art geek.

The Israel Museum has a great collection of Judaica, and one of my favorite pieces is this all-in-one set of ritual objects designed by Zelig Segal in 1983, entitled "Holiday Set." At the top is a Hanukkiah, there's a Havdalah set on the right, an etrog holder on the left, Shabbat candleholders at the bottom...

The last piece I'm sharing in this post is the view from inside James Turrell's "Space That Sees" from 1992 – possibly my favorite sculptural work of all time. One enters a big white box (20' square? 30'?) and looks up through an opening to watch the sky above. It's sculpture in reverse, almost. I see it as an exploration of how we frame the natural word to create art – painters and photographers try to capture moments, sculpture tries to replicate it... and this frames the source itself.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Stencil Art in Israel

My trip to Israel this summer was flat-out incredible. In every way.

One of the things I did while there was photograph stencil art I discovered on the country's walls, and I'm pleased to share with you some of those pictures. Please let me know what you think, or if you have more information on the work or artists represented here.

"Ma?" ("What?") —
the eternal question.

The emotion that can be conveyed
with a little paint on a wall astounds me.
The wall, of course, is Jerusalem stone.

"In Aza and Sderot girls want to be" –
Is this a statement? Or are we supposed to provide the final word?

"I want" — it's Travolta, right?
Kotter-era Travolta?
In Tel Aviv, which seems appropriate.

Papa Smurf. In Arabic.
Found around the corner from the Bezalel School in Jerusalem.

Space Invaders. Classic 80s stencil trope.

I call this "Kahn!"
even though that's not the traditional transliteration
of the Hebrew word for "here."
There's a Hebrew word above "zeh" I can't make out...
it would mean, "______, it's here."

Anne Frank

I love fragments like this –
wheat paste and stencil together.

"Home Alone," right?
"They forgot me"... in what?
Another from Tel Aviv, near Dizengoff Square.

Prime Minister Benyamin "Bibi" Netanyahu,
with the caption, "who believes is not afraid."