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EXHIBITION

Jews and Modernity:
Fragments and Shifting Notions

 

It somehow seems appropriate that a new exhibition at the Arthur Ross Galley—Transformation: Jews and Modernity—has been described by its curators as being comprised of “fragments” from a history of modern Jewish art. After all, a prime tenet of modernism is the sense of fragmentation, and the Jewish experience in the modern era has unquestionably been a fragmented one.
    The 58 images in the exhibition communicate “shifting notions of self and other, city and country, art and its makers,” in the words of Dr. Larry Silver, professor of art history and curator of the exhibition (aided by graduate students Freyda Spira and Juliet Bellow). Those images, he adds, offer a “range of perspectives on aesthetic, religious, political, and social issues by artists scattered across the globe”—some Jewish, some not—including Marc Chagall, Andy Warhol, Eugene Delacroix, Roy Lichtenstein, Diane Arbus, and Sol LeWitt.
    According to Dr. Dilys Winegrad Gr’70, the gallery’s director and curator, the exhibition (which runs through June 17) was organized as a highlight of a year-long symposium by Penn’s Center for Advanced Judaic Studies. Accompanying the exhibition is a book by the same name published by the University of Pennsylvania Press.


From top: El Lissitzky, Neuer (The New Man), 1923; Louis Lozowick, Allen Street (Under the El), 1929; (left) Andy Warhol, Ten Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century: George Gershwin, 1980.

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