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Etchings at Swann Galleries “And it happened after these things that God tested Abraham and said to him, ‘Abraham.’  And he replied, ‘Here I am’" (Genesis 22:1). What was the nature of this test and, more to the point, isn’t this test also a test…
Poussin’s Bible Near the end of his long and productive life Nicolas Poussin was commissioned to paint in 1660 an unusual series of paintings called the Four Seasons.  They very quickly became some of the best known and beloved of his artworks; utilizing four scenes…
Ten Portraits Reconsidered When an artist creates, intention, elementary to the creative process, is paradoxically secondary to the finished work.  Once the art work is on view in the larger world it must stand on its own, engaging the audience on its aesthetic merits and…
The Graphic Novel by JT Waldman JT Waldman’s Megillat Esther is brash, loud and groundbreaking.  Created as a graphic novel it is the first time the megillah has been illustrated in this radical late 20th century art form.  Nonetheless, the question remains; can a comic…
Photographs of Vardi Kahana Three Sisters, 1992 by Vardi Kahana, courtesy Andrea Meislin Gallery The Holocaust was “Ground Zero of the Greenwald-Kahana family.”  In the midst of the murderous fury of 1944 three sisters were tattooed with consecutive numbers in Auschwitz.  They were lucky; they survived…
Paintings and Objects by Lynn Russell Lynn Russell’s current exhibition at the Chassidic Art Institute challenges us with a piety that resists all easy answers.  First there are the Baruch HaShem pieces, highly unusual collaged texts combining letters, images and objects that somehow lead us…
Woodcarving from the Synagogue to the Carousel Much like the Jewish people themselves the legacy of Jewish Art has miraculously survived seemingly endless assaults of the past two centuries.  In Eastern Europe the forces of assimilation, cultural denial and holocaust have worked tirelessly to abandon,…
Davidson, Singer and the Jews Sometime in 1967 Bruce Davidson, the photographer, met Isaac Bashevis Singer, the writer, and they went down to the Lower East Side to the Garden Cafeteria to chat, have coffee and rice pudding. It began a creative friendship that lasted…
Zabari’s Figures Moshe Zabari has accomplished a remarkable feat… he has put the Matriarchs literally on top of the Torah.  What a triumph for religious feminism, what a triumph for Jewish Art! His recent series of sterling silver Torah Finials (Rimonim) feature Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel…
Ritual and Repetition The bedrock of all religion is repetition. Tradition as a religious concept is nothing less than the repetition of rituals, dress, thought and behavior of preceding generations. For Jews the amount of repetition that is found in one’s life naturally expresses the…
Sarah’s Miscalculation Rembrandt’s etching, Abraham Entertaining the Angels is a pristine jewel of Biblical narrative.  The artist depicts the exact moment the story reveals its true meaning.  The guests have been comfortably seated and served refreshments by Abraham himself, shown humbly waiting on them in…
Frydlender’s Constructions What is Frydlender up to? Barry Frydlender, the prominent Israeli photographer, is currently privileged with simultaneous exhibitions at the Tel Aviv Museum and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. His New York exhibition consists of a mere 10 works that examine various…

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