Tuesday, June 27, 2017

NYC's Jewish Art Salon rockets to Teaneck

By Joanna Palmer
Joel Silverstein, "Ten Commandments - A Question." Inspired by an 1,800 year old Jewish mural, this shows Jerusalem, Moses and Aaron, drowning Egyptians, the flooding red sea and Wonder woman, mixing figurative art with pop references.
Jews and art. Art and Jews. It’s one of those weird relationships. Many Jews seem to be drawn to art. But it can be a troubled relationship nonetheless. Jewish law has prescriptions against figurative art that kept many Jews away from it for a very long time. Other questions that hover over any discussion of Jewish art also are the very basic ones: What is Jewish art? What is a Jewish artist? Do you have to be Jewish to make Jewish art? Can a Jewish artist make non-Jewish art? How about a-Jewish art? The Jewish Art Salon holds a salon to raise money toward its exhibit, “Jerusalem Between Heaven and Earth” in the Jerusalem Biennale 2017 on Monday, June 26, at 7:30 p.m. in Teaneck; call (201) 837-6157 for more information [More]

Monday, June 26, 2017

Jewish artist Yury Kharchenko, taking on dark side of Luther’s legacy

By Toby Axelrod
"Reichsbischof Ludwig Müller" (2016) by Yury Kharchenko. Grafit und Sprayfarbe auf Leinwand, 200x190 cm; © Yury Kharchenko
WITTENBERG---What was a young Jewish artist doing in a former prison in Wittenberg, Germany? Nailing his art to the wall, of course. Yury Kharchenko, who turned 31 this month, is one of around 65 international artists — including Ai Weiwei, Gilbert and George, Olafur Eliasson and Erwin Wurm — who have contributed to an exhibition in the very city where Martin Luther is said to have nailed his revolutionary thesis to a church door, triggering the Protestant Reformation half-a-millennium ago. For Mr. Kharchenko, a rising star, the exhibition "Luther and the Avant-Garde," which runs until September 17 at the Old Prison, has provided a chance to confront controversial aspects of the Reformation, including Luther’s well-documented antisemitism and its ongoing legacy. [More]

A 3-D digital scan throws a Buddha statue’s carvings into sharp relief

By Madeleine Buckley
What makes this sixth-century Chinese object, the Cosmic Buddha, exceptional are the detailed narrative scenes that cover its surface, representing moments in the life of the historical Buddha as well as the Realms of Existence, a symbolic map of the Buddhist world.
WASHINGTON---For nearly nine decades, the Cosmic Buddha statue stood alone at the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art. Museum-goers would pass by the headless, handless statue, a relic of sixth-century China, without a second glance. “It is a difficult sculpture to love because it’s so complicated,” he said. “It’s not sensuous. It’s not a beautiful, white marble surface.” Yet, as an expert in ancient Chinese objects, he understood the major religious and historic implications of those scenes carved on the form-fitting robe depicting Buddhism’s six realms of existence, from the heavenly realm of the devas at the top to the hot and cold hells of the dead at the bottom. [More]

Sunday, June 25, 2017



This past Friday's rain was biblical! It rained so hard that Greg was stranded in his truck and Ernest's office roof started leaking. Coincidentally, that same day's art news was "The Deluge" (2002) by Bill Viola. In his 35-minute video installation, a flood of 65,000 gallons of water rushes down a stairway flushing the panicked residents into the streets. Inspired by "The Flood and the Receding of the Waters" (1439–40) by Paolo Uccello, both works are currently on view in a retrospective exhibition at Florence, Italy’s Palazzo Strozzi, “Bill Viola, Electronic Renaissance.” Bill Viola's video works are collected by major museums and churches, but Sedition.com also offers a 500 edition water-themed digital work for private homes.