Well Versed

The Art Of Observance

“Coming to a stop is not easy in this frenetic world. But it is essential for being watchful –and for making art,” explains Rochelle Rubinstein, guest curator of Yeshiva University Museum’s sixth annual group exhibition, “Stop. Watch.”

View of "Stop. Watch." Aimee Rubensteen

An Israeli Photographer Looks Back

If you’re like me, you may remember an older Israel — a dusty Levantine backwater of unpaved sidewalks and peeling stucco walls — with a mixture of nostalgia and relief. Today, Israel is a sparkling, Westernized techno-power with gleaming high-rises and computer ads lighting every corner; Igael Shemtov’s photos, “The Photo Album 1979-1980,” now showing at the Andrea Meislin Gallery, summon up a slower, hazier era.

Igael Shemtov, “The Photo Album, Volume II, #77, 1978-1980.” Courtesy Andrea Meislin Gallery

Last Chance: A Kaleidoscope Of Color On Roosevelt Island

Painted glass panels with splashes of vivid color in the Main Street windows of the RIVAA Gallery hint at the treasures inside.

Arline Jacoby in front of her painting, “Color Burst,” at the RIVAA Gallery

Adrienne Rich And Fixing Our “Half-Finished Houses”

This week would have been the 85th birthday of Adrienne Rich, the Jewish feminist poet who died three years ago leaving behind a tremendous legacy of ideas and words that helped shape many people’s gender identities and inspired the work of feminist activism.

Adrienne Rich

An Outpost Of Nepalese Culture In Chelsea

Charity is important but knowledge is power. If you can’t mark Nepal on a map, then you should consider visiting the Rubin Museum of Art to better educate yourself about the history, culture and community of the South Asian nation. (If you do know your geography, then you should not need another reason to fuel your curiosity.) Located between India and China, Nepal is an important source for sacred Buddhist and Hindu art, of which 600 objects are owned by the Rubin Museum in Manhattan.

Tibetan Buddhist Shrine Room. Photo courtesy of The Rubin Museum of Art. David De Armas

Can’t Get Enough Klimt

For Klimt lovers, now is a perfect storm of Klimt-o-mania. With “The Lady in Gold” now playing in theatres, fascinated viewers are snaking round the block of the Neue Galerie, waiting patiently to see and learn more about Klimt’s “Portrait of Adele Bloch.”

Gustav Klimt, “Adele Bloch-Bauer I”, 1907. Courtesy Neue Galerie, New York

Forming New Friendships For Israel’s Museums

Something else to celebrate on Israel’s 67th birthday: Israel has the highest number of museums in the world per capita, with more than 200 museums operating throughout the country.

Massimo Vitali, “Rena Majori," 2013. C-print in diasec with wooden frame. Edition of 35. Courtesy Massimo Vitali

Remembering Gottex

Long, long ago, appearing partially unclad occasioned no greater agita in my mind than appearing fully dressed. At that time, wearing a bathing suit was a fashion opportunity rather than a moment of shame. But Gottex bathing suits were on a list of items well beyond my price range. 

“What’s Under Your Pareo?" at the JCC in Manhattan.Koon

Remembering Women Of The Holocaust

The suffering of women, in particular, during the Holocaust, was for many years excluded from the general Holocaust narrative. Rochelle G. Saidel, founder of the Remember the Women Institute (RWI), has been instrumental in bringing the specific experience of women to the fore, especially insofar as the issue of sexual violation.

Courtesy Remember the Women Institute

Dramatizing The Shoah

Art about the Holocaust, Elie Wiesel wrote in the New York Times in 1989, “trivializes” memory. The Shoah, he insisted, “defeated culture; later, it defeated art…No one now retell Auschwitz after Auschwitz.” Arnold Mittelman, who is producing a series of readings of Holocaust plays all across the country this month, emphatically disagrees.

Arnold Mittelman, president of the National Jewish Theater Foundation. Courtesy of NJTF
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