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    Jewish Modernism-Part 2 exhibition installation
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    Jewish Modernism-Part 2 exhibition installation
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    Jewish Modernism-Part 2 exhibition installation
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    Jewish Modernism-Part 2 exhibition installation
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    Jewish Modernism-Part 2 exhibition installation
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    Jewish Modernism-Part 2 exhibition installation
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    Jewish Modernism-Part 2 exhibition installation

Jewish Modernism Part 2: Figuration from Chagall to Norman

April 30 - October 31, 2020
Palm Desert, CA

Artwork

About

Heather James presents a two part online exhibition of artworks from our collection featuring the modernism developed by Jewish artists. Part 2 focuses on the development of figurative and representational paintings.

The show opens on Marc Chagall, one of the most prominent artists of the 20th century, who fused his Jewish background to create an influential mode of modernism. These vibrant lithographs by Chagall are delightful examples of the modernist visual language he developed. Much of his unique voice derived from the synthesis of his Jewish identity and modernist trends applied to diverse subjects.

“The Rabbi of Vitebsk (The Praying Jew)” is the most explicit and is modelled after oil paintings of the same subject, one of which currently hangs at the Art Institute of Chicago. Nevertheless, Chagall never limited himself through his religion. The other lithographs demonstrate his ability to adapt differing subjects and themes to his unique style. Chagall even made the stain glass windows for St. Stephan church in Mainz, Germany.

Exhibited alongside Chagall are his contemporaries, Arthur Kolnik and Sigmund Menkes, who at the same time also explored modernism through a Jewish lens. Chagall, Kolnik, and Menkes are examples of the flourishing Jewish culture in the beginning of the 20th century and the developments made by the diaspora to art history.

Irving Norman was born in Lithuania in 1906 and was a Jewish immigrant to the United States. A social surrealist, his paintings capture the trauma of modern life during the 20th century, informed by his own personal experiences including as a soldier defending the Spanish Republic from Franco’s fascist Nationalists. Dark and often violent, Norman believed that his paintings and art in general have the power to change society and our behavior. Not just totems to destruction, these paintings are a calling out to humanity’s compassion.

Other artists include Morris Louis, and Leonora Carrington.

Artists