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Itshak Holtz Drawings Examining a choice selection of drawings done by Itshak Holtz over 30 years ago is a rare pleasure that allows for the appreciation of his unique sensitivity and insights.  I was afforded that pleasure at the inaugural exhibition of the Betzalel Gallery…
Robert Feinland’s Paintings One thing is certain about Robert Feinland.  He has shuls on his mind.  His career has spanned over 40 years, exploring landscape, cityscape, sculpture and abstraction.  For many of those years he has focused on the relentlessly changing urban landscape of New…
Making Torah Manifest: Nathan Hilu “Man must make the Torah manifest” in every action, speech and creative act.  That is clearly the credo of Nathan Hilu; master-artist of the Lower East Side, Torah, Tanach, midrash, Gemara and beyond.  There is seemingly nothing that doesn’t fall…
Zaslavsky’s Jews Jewish artists do the darndest things. The Chassidic Art Institute, expertly directed by Zev Markowitz, is currently showing Venyamin Zaslavsky, a Ukrainian Jewish artist who has devoted the last 20 years to depictions of pious Jewish life in Jerusalem and the Holy Land.
Paintings from Midrash by Brian Shapiro The midrashic world is a dangerous place to inhabit.  It plays fast and loose with our sacred texts to fathom their deeper meanings, solve vexing textual and conceptual problems and, finally, make sense of the holy words in contemporary…
Robert Kirschbaum: Small Paintings from The Akedah Series Our encounters with the Divine are precious moments of personal religiosity.  We believe that when we pray we are speaking directly to God and at that moment we are in the Divine presence.  And yet we are…
Alan Falk’s Lessons Two of Alan Falk’s biblical paintings immediately assault us aesthetically and thematically. Isaac Blessing Jacob (2009) and The Cry of Esau (2010) document the famous stolen blessing of Genesis 27 and its consequences.  The ancient Isaac is clad in a white nightshirt,…
Mourning, Memory & Art David Roberts (1796-1864) was a Scottish painter who in the late 1830’s traveled extensively in the Levant and Egypt documenting “Orientalist” sites in drawings and watercolors. Together with the lithographer Louis Haghe, he marketed his work to a public eager for…
Meer Akselrod: Painting his People Empathy and memory meet in the work of Meer Akselrod (1902-1970), the Jewish Russian artist who defied aesthetic convention and totalitarian dictates to relentlessly pursue his personal artistic vision of painting the Jewish people.  His quiet courage in the face…
The Art of Tanya Fredman Acts of Loving Kindness. This mitzvah is included next to Torah study in the precepts that have no limit, as well as the precepts that are rewarded in this World and in the World to Come. This is surely one…
Chagall and The Cross The oft-repeated quote by art critic Robert Hughes that Marc Chagall (1887-1985) was the “quintessential Jewish artist of the twentieth century” perhaps reveals more than the normally mordant writer intended.  Chagall’s role as celebrator of a dream-like vision of the Russian…
A Photographic Journey with Yuri Dojc Can the Holocaust be memorialized by an aesthetically beautiful object?  Doesn’t the obscenity of the crime create a fundamental contradiction?  The question still stands 66 years later, even as art is still being made about the Holocaust. Jewish creativity…

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