Tag Archive | Jewish Museum

Eye On Design: Furniture By Marc Camille Chaimowicz

Room By Marc Camille Chaimowicz
All Photos By Gail

Marc Camille Chaimowicz (b. 1947) is a London-based, cross-disciplinary contemporary artist whose works challenge the categorical divisions between art and design. His recent career retrospect at the Jewish Museum (which was the artist’s first solo museum exhibition in the United States) transformed the entire second floor of the former Warburg family mansion from an exhibit showcase into a series of fantasy tableaus pristinely curated with unique and whimsical home furnishings and décor. This room was my favorite. Let’s take a closer look at the pieces that make up this dream-like living room set.

Give and Take Sofa and Rope Vase

Blue Velvet Give and Take Sofa and Pink Glazed Ceramic Rope Vase.

Maquette for Give and Take Sofa

Maquette for Give and Take Sofa

Stainless Steel Magazine Rack

Stainless Steel Magazine Rack with Diamonds Cut Outs

Pink Rope Vase

Rope Vase

Photographed as Part of the Exhibit, Your Place or Mine, at the Jewish Museum.

Room 2

Items Shown Left to Right : One Meter Lamp (2016), Glazed Ceramic Rope Vase (2014) Give and Take Velvet Sofa (1994) Stainless Steel Magazine Rack (2014)

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Eye On Design: Book Covers By Elaine Lustig Cohen

Trio of Book Covers
All Photos By Gail

Over six decades, Elaine Lustig Cohen (19272016) moved among diverse activities, including art, design, and rare-book dealing. She began her career as a graphic designer in the mid-1950s, extending the vocabulary of European Modernism — Constructivism, Dada, and the Bauhaus —  into an American context for publishers, architects and cultural Institutions.

From 1962 to 1967, she helped shape the Jewish Museum’s intuitional identity, directing the design of catalogues, posters, booklets and other printed material for its progressive exhibition program. At the same time, Lustig Cohen developed a hard-edge style as a painter, with a formal language of solid colors, abstract geometric shapes, and minimally visible brushstrokes, her paintings directly relate to her design work and to the movement called Postpainterly Abstraction. Lustig Cohen’s artistic contributions demonstrate that the lineage of Postpainterly Abstraction should been expanded beyond the fine arts to include postwar graphic design.

Three Book Covers

One of Lustig Cohen’s key projects was the design of book jackets for Meridian Publishers. Drawing on her knowledge modern typography and avant-garde design principles, such as asymmetrical composition dramatic scale, and image montage, Lustig Cohen forged a distinctive graphic voice.

Three Book Jackets

For book jackets, she described her process as one of distillation, in which she would identify the central ideas of the text and render then abstractly with bold lettering, expressive forms, and playfully collaged photographic elements.

Photographed in the Jewish Museum in Manhattan.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Marc Chagall, Cubist Landscape

Cubist Landscape
Photo By Gail

This work, Cubist Landscape (1919) by Marc Chagall (18871985)  illustrates the artist’s relationship to the Suprematist avant-garde at the time. Its disjointed geometrical shapes and use of heterogenous materials to create texture originated in Cubo-Futurism. One of the steps leading to Suprematism according to Kazimir Malevich’s theory of art, this style privileged movement, fragmented forms and bold colors. In the composition, geometric forms overtake a figure carrying an umbrella in front of Vitebsk School — perhaps a stand-in for the artist, protecting himself from the Suprematist storm. To the left of this figure, in a scene typical of Chagall’s shtetls (a small town with a large Jewish populations), a man with a goat makes a faint appearance. The artist repeats this name endlessly across the canvas, humorously illustrating the gulf between his painterly poetics and the stark Suprematist creations of his rival Malevich, who advocated collective art.

Photographed as Part of the Exhibit Chagall, Lissitzky, Malevich: The Russian Avant-Garde in Vitebsk, 1918-1922, On View Through January 6th, 2019, at the Jewish Museum in Manhattan.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Seder By Nicole Eisenman

Seder
Photo By Gail

Nicole Eisenman (b. 1965) paints the human figure — including friends, and literary or historical figures — narrative scenes and allegories. She often touches on the topics of queer identity, feminism, and the complexities of family and friends. Her style is intimate and tender, yet infused with wry humor.  Seder (2010) presents a familiar holiday scene rendered with comic aplomb. The perspective of the viewer (and artist) is from the head of the table, the best vantage point to witness the tensions gathered around the traditional Passover ceremony; children and adults are both attentive and bored, with expressions ranging from grotesque and distorted to charming and affectionate.

Photographed in the Jewish Museum in Manhattan.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Deborah Kass, OY / YO

OY YO
Photos By Gail

Since the 1980s, Deborah Kass has riffed on modern artworks by famous white men to reflect her experience as a Jewish lesbian. Here, Kass remakes Robert Indiana’s LOVE (itself a coded homage to queer male desire) with the twinned words Oy (a Yiddish exclamation of alarm or bother) and Yo.

OY YO

The artist considers herself to be a “total, absolute, 100 percent provincial New Yorker.” This work uses the city’s culturally specific, yet universal lingo to communicate the collective pride and exasperation of living here. Originally conceived as a monumental sculpture, it was installed for limited time in Brooklyn Bridge Park. OY/YO (2017) became an instant New York icon and photo op for tourists and residents of al backgrounds, for whom the pluralist spirit of the double-sided interjection resonated deeply

Photographed in the Jewish Museum in Manhattan. Note that This Work is Currently On View In Front of The Brooklyn Museum (as of 10/1/18).

Modern Art Monday Presents: Hannah Wilke, Venus Pareve

Hannah Wilke Venus Pareve 
All Photos By Gail

Hannah Wilke (1940 – 1993) was a leading artist of the feminist art movement that began in the 1970s. Her primary subject was her own body, explored in sculptures, drawings, photographs, and performance as part of a larger investigation of femininity and sexuality.  Venus Pareve (1982 – 84) comprises twenty-five sculptural self-portraits, hand-modeled and then cast in plaster of Paris or edible kosher chocolate.

Hannah Wilke Venus Pareve 

Wilke often presents herself in the role Venus, the Roman goddess of Love, sex and fertility. These figures, like many celebrated classical sculptures of the goddess, lack arms and legs — their beauty is without agency; they are helpless objects of desire.

Hannah Wilke Venus Pareve 

The title, too, mimics the names of famous Greek and Roman states: Venus de Milo, Venus Pudica, Venus Genetrix. Pareve, however, is a Hebrew term from Jewish dietary law, signifying food that contains neither dairy nor meat and that therefore may be eaten without restriction. Venus Pareve critiques the perception of woman’s bodies as objects of consumption.

Hannah Wilke Venus Pareve 
The Painting on the wall in the background is Double Portrait (Gay Flag) by Ross Bleckner.

Photographed in The Jewish Museum in NYC.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Chaim Soutine, Still Life with Rayfish

Still Life with Ray Fish
Photos By Gail

In Still Life with Ray Fish (1924), Chaim Soutine animates the components of this still life with a dynamic composition and energetic brush strokes. The rayfish (a fish similar to skate and fit for human consumption) presides over a table with its mouth agape, as though caught in a cry. The exposed flesh and spilled tomatoes imply and unsettling violence.

The Ray

The work’s motif was inspired by The Ray, a masterpiece by Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin. Rather than copying Chardin, Soutine set up similar objects in his studio and painted them from life, creating four versions in varying formats. Compared with Chardin’s painting, Soutine reduces the number of objects in the scene and crops the background to emphasize the expressive features of the ray.

Photographed as Part of the Exhibit, Chaim Soutine: Flesh, at the Jewish Museum in Manhattan (On Loan from the Metropolitan Museum of Art).