Indepth Arts News: |
"A Jewish Portrait Gallery: Questions of Seeing and Looking"
2005-01-08 until 2005-03-04
Workmens Cirle: A Shenere Velt Gallery
Los Angeles, CA,
USA United States of America
How does a Jew look? This is the question the new show in A Shenere Velt
Gallery poses. In A Jewish Portrait Gallery the grammar is deliberately
ambiguous. Are the subjects of the paintings necessarily Jews? "What does a
Jew look like?" Or are the artists all Jewish? "How does a Jew see the
world?" Or is it the Gallery itself that is Jewish? "How does a Jewish artspace show its face to the world?" This is an invitational exhibition - many of the artists have previously
shown at the Workmen's Circle gallery,
Included works are by Laurel Paley, with her
intriguing semi-abstractions, Lucille Dratler and Gabriella Karin, whose art
is inspired by Holocaust survivorship, and Ilse Gordon, whose moody faces
evoke pre-war Vienna and modern, intellectual Jewish femaleness. Others who
have shown before include Gloria Moses, Lucy Blake-Elahi, Michele
Benzamin-Miki, Pat Berger, Lynette Mathis, and others. Barbara Mendes, whose
one-woman show opened the Gallery in 1996, has "At Last" in the show, a
romantic self-portrait based on a cross-country road trip she took in 2003.
The late well-known Los Angeles artist Boris Deutsch is represented by a
deliberately Chagall-like "Village Fiddler," a soulful, meditative vision of
life in the Jewish shtetl, the whimsical lines of the figures reflecting
back at the viewer a nostalgia for a vision of Jewishness that might never
have existed. Franceil Masi‚s "The Seamstress" evokes a different kind of
nostalgia, for the sweatshop stories of crowded European cities or the Lower
Various artists new to A Shenere Velt have been invited to show as well,
including Aaron No One, whose fleeting photographic self-portraits betray an
edgy, Generation X consciousness and Emily Bowen Cohen's loving, humorous
portrait of her grandfather who "loves NYC."
In various media, in many styles, and with a very broad price range making
contemporary Jewish art affordable to virtually every budget, A Jewish
Portrait Gallery will appeal to the artist, viewer and subject in everyone.
A Shenere Velt Gallery is part of The Workmen‚s Circle/Arbeter Ring, which
has been active in Southern California since 1908, dedicated to Jewish
culture and social justice.