Funny, I Do Look Jewish:
I spend most of my time creating editorial content for ARTnews, where I am executive editor. But on October 22 I’m speaking at the Washington DC JCC about my career covering Jewish art—for the Forward, where I was arts editor, and now Tablet magazine, where I am galleries columnist. But what is Jewish art anyway? Defining that term is at once academic exercise and parlor game, a process that inevitably reveals more about the person doing the deciding than it does about the artist in question.
Is it the Impressionism of Pissarro; the haunting paintings of Ross Bleckner, who once told me he’s “Talmudic”; Tami Ben Tor’s provocative Women Talk About Adolf Hitler video; the confessional women’s graphic novels now at Yeshiva University Museum; or Adi Nes’s staged photographs re-enacting Jewish and Christian biblical scenes in contemporary settings—or the heal-the-world ecological activism of Mierle Ukeles, the official artist of New York’s Sanitation Department? These artists, along with Chagall, Kitaj, Jack Levine, Max Liebermann, Man Ray, Gustav Metzger, Charlotte Salomon, Eva Hesse, Michal Rovner, Yael Bartana, Sigalit Landau, Komar & Melamid, and a host of others past and present will show up in my wide-ranging presentation.
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Adi Nes, Untitled, 1995. Courtesy Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.