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]
Painter Yury Kharchenko holding up 'Self-portrait as reference to the arrest photo of Herschel Grynszpan of 1938' in front of the Luther memorial in Wittenberg, Germany,