Please Join us for our Winter 2018 Art Opening
Thursday January 25th, 7:00 - 9:00 PM
Free and Open to the Public
Pentimento by Robert Weingarten
Robert Weingarten describes Pentimento, his recent body of work, as “a re-affirmation of the power of photographic memory.” Beginning with historic photographs that document major events of the last hundred years, Weingarten re-visits the original locations of these pictures and then makes photographs of the site as it exists today. He notes that, in these places, life goes on and there are often no reminders of the profound or tragic events that occurred there in the not so distant past. An Italian painting term, Pentimento is defined as “the presence or emergence of earlier images, forms or strokes that have been changed and painted over.” Weingarten’s work is a seamless layering of his photographs with the vintage images, a digital process he calls a “translucent composite.” In one of these montages, Weingarten blends color views of stately London streets with gritty black and white photos of ambulances, firemen, burning buildings and the rubble of the Blitz of WWII. In another, a ramshackle shantytown, known as a “Hooverville” in the Great Depression, sits in the middle of Central Park in New York, overlaid with contemporary picknickers, strollers, balloons and couples lounging in the sun. In his image of Havana, Weingarten reverses his usual practice of combining vintage black and white with contemporary color. In this case, a recent black and white street scene is decorated with the brilliantly colored neon signs that enlivened the street in the pre-Castro era.
Warsaw, (1943) , 2011
The Space Between Symbols by Corrie Siegel
An artist, curator and educator, Corrie Siegel is committed to using the arts as a method of personal philosophic exploration as well as a tool for community building. Siegel’s works often explore identity and experience within a global system of communication. She plays with personal limitations of knowledge and understanding by using highly detailed observation, and involved processes for collecting and rendering her subject matter. She has exhibited her work throughout the United States as well as internationally. Her projects have been profiled in the Los Angeles Times, Mousse Magazine, and Flash Art International. Siegel is a founding member and co-director of Actual Size, an artist collective and gallery. Actual Size collaborates with established and emerging artists to activate the exhibition space and engage the public.
The cut paper works that comprise this series are created through overlaying text in a matrix to obscure the original message and reveal a pattern composed of symbols. Intricately detailed, the work is inspired by micrographic art by Hebrew scribes who sculpt, skew and stretch letters to create dynamic and textured compositions. The artist chose to dissect texts written in German including Hitler's "Mein Kampf". Through using the form of a traditional paper-cut, these loaded texts are abstracted and cut into fragile lace.
The paper-cut was once exceedingly common in Ashkenazic-Jewish homes, reaching its height of popularity in the 19th century into the early 20th. Paper-cuts served religious and other ritual needs, such as indicating the direction of prayer, remembering family deaths, holiday decoration, and warding off the evil eve. Artists adapted the cut paper technique that Jewish merchants had met through their travels to the Far East in the 14th century as well as the 17th century German paper-cuts, which were known as Scherenschnitt (scissor-cuts). In 1345, Rabbi Shem-Tov ben Yitzhak ben Ardutiel wrote The War of the Pen Against the Scissors. In this Hebrew text he recounted an occasion in which his inkwell froze on a cold winter’s evening. In order to continue his studies he resorted to cutting the letters out of the paper.
Created by Hebrew scribes in the late 9th century while transcribing the Masorah, which includes a system of marginal biblical notes that counted and listed textual details, this style of forming minute text into imagery enabled scribes to render images without blatantly violating Jewish law forbidding representation. This art form spread with the Jewish diaspora and evolved within the local cultural milieus. Micrography exemplifies the Jewish tradition of retaining identity while adapting to and affecting the local culture. Micrography also demonstrates the enduring Jewish pursuit of interpreting and navigating their evolving traditions.
"Faith in a Seed" by Joshua Abarbanel
Exhibit extended by popular demand through March 30
On view on the staircase
Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders. —Henry David Thoreau
Joshua Abarbanel: Faith in a Seed presents a large, hanging sculpture and a selection of related wall-mounted works inspired by plants, seeds, pods, and spores. These works in wood emanate from the artist’s longstanding fascination with forms and patterns found in nature and are part of his ongoing examination of creation and impermanence. The pieces on display are informed in part by a visit Abarbanel made to the Global Seed Vault in Svalbard—a fail-safe seed storage facility built to stand the test of time and the threats of natural or man-made disasters—during an expeditionary artists residency in which he participated in the Arctic Circle.
Joshua Abarbanel is a Los Angeles-based visual artist who works in a variety of media, predominantly sculpture. His work has been exhibited at the Jewish Museum Berlin (Germany), Fleming Museum of Art (Burlington, Vermont), Art Share L.A. (Los Angeles), Japanese American Cultural and Community Center (Los Angeles), Columbia University-Bernard Kraft Center (New York), and Jose Drudis-Biada Art Gallery, Mount St. Mary’s College (Los Angeles), among other venues, and was the focus of recent solo exhibitions at TAJ Art Gallery (Los Angeles) and Hinge Parallel Gallery (Culver City), as well as a two-person exhibition at Porch Gallery (Ojai).
Abarbanel’s work has been reviewed in Fabrik and ArtFCity, and his projects have been the subject of numerous feature stories in outlets including the Associated Press, CNN Greece, Design Milk, My Modern Met, KCRW’s Design and Architecture, Colossal, Contemporist, Hi-Fructose, and a European documentary on Arte Television.
Abarbanel received dual undergraduate degrees in art and psychology from the University of California at Berkeley and a Masters of Fine Art from the University of California at Los Angeles, where he focused on ceramics. Upon completing his MFA he delved into the world of digital art and graphics, disciplines he teaches as a professor at Los Angeles Harbor College. He was born in Manchester, England and lives and works in Santa Monica, California.
Pictured above: Joshua Abarbanel Pod 01, 2015 Stained and unstained wood on fiberglass, metal chain 40” round; chain length variable
Bread & Salt: The Art of Jewish Food
Extended by popular demand through March 30
On view in the Gindi Gallery, second floor
The goal of Bread & Salt is to bring together numerous Jewish cultural sites throughout Southern California to explore contemporary, historic and ritual aspects about food through exhibitions, symposiums, shabbatons and creative place-making. From farm to table so too from Sinai to our synagogues what we eat and why we eat has impacted our people since the beginning of history. Jews and food encompass everything from secular to religious culinary rituals, holidays, kashrut, social justice, biblical sacrifice, cultural identity, and both ancient and modern agricultural practices. In creating a city wide event focused on all aspects of food, Bread & Salt's purpose is to engage the community in this conversation creating fertile ground to explore the current Jewish foodscape, from multiple access points. Whether inspired by color, taste, texture, history, relevance, spirituality, environmentalism, social justice, farming and locavore or artisan movements, the presenting artists, educators, and topic experts will keep participants salivating for more!
American Jewish University (AJU) Hebrew Union College JIR-LA (HUC) USC Hillel Hillel at UCLA Academy for Jewish Religion (AJRCA) UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies Jewish Women's Theater Nuart Pop-Up Exhibitions USC Israeli Arts and Humanities
"Days of Awe" by Zhenya Gershman
Displayed on the third floor
On view from October 26 to December 17
ZHENYA GERSHMAN is an internationally renowned artist. She was born in Moscow, Russia and held her 1st solo exhibition in St. Petersburg at age 14. She was selected as a subject of the TV Documentary Film “Our Generation”, a project dedicated to searching for the five most talented teenagers in Russia, showing hope for the cultural future of the country. The youngest student to be admitted to Otis Art Institute, Zhenya graduated with Honors and later received her Masters of Fine Arts degree from Art Center College of Design. Today, Gershman's portraits are featured in public and private collections including Douglas Simon and Richard Weisman (she is included in the book "Picasso to Pop: The Richard Weisman Collection"). Gershman's portrait of Sting was acquired for the permanent collection of the Arte Al Limite Museum, due to open in 2017 in Santiago, Chile. Zhenya participates in important international exhibitions including Art Aspen, Art Miami, and Art Chicago. The GRAMMY MusiCares Foundation selected Gershman to create portraits of Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan. Her recent exhibition Larger Than Life was broadcast by Entertainment Tonight, Extra Television, and The New York Post. A documentary film, The Model's Artist, highlights Gershman's innovative approach to working with artists' models. In 2000, Gershman was a recipient of ALEX Award in Visual Arts from The National Alliance for Excellence, Honored Scholars and Artists Program, presented by Peter Frank, who is quoted as saying that Gershman’s effort evokes not only Whistler’s and Sargent’s, but that from which they took inspiration, Manet’s and Velazquez’s–masters of the figure who in their own ways avoided the banal literalities of their contemporaries for a rendition truer to the vagaries of vision, and (thereby) to the dynamics of human presence.
In addition to her artistic career, Gershman is an independent scholar and a museum educator. She has worked for over a decade in the internationally acclaimed J. Paul Getty Museum, and has contributed to such exhibitions as Rembrandt's Late Religious Portraits and Rembrandt: Telling the Difference. As a co-Founder of Project AWE, a non-profit foundation for the arts and education, Gershman has dedicated her scholarly and charitable work to provide new dimensions in understanding and experiencing the cultural icons of Western European heritage. Gershman’s groundbreaking discovery regarding the presence of a hidden Rembrandt self portrait was published by Arion, Boston University and was brought to European audiences by Le Monde, one of the most important international magazines. She continues to work in her studio, and is currently writing a book and developing a TV series entitled “Secrets of the Masters”.
Click here for an interview with Zhenya Gershman by Oren Peleg
Ethiopian Jews still living in Ethiopia by Sophia Spitulnik
Displayed in Pritzker Dining Room, second floor
On view from October 26 to December 17
The first part of this exhibit includes 16 photos of different aspects of the Ethiopian Jewish Community that were taken by students during a trip to Ethiopia. The second part includes 6 photographs of some of the community members living in Gondar.
Annual Student Photo Contest
Annual Student Fine Art Show
Louis Davidson's extraordinary photographic study of "Synagogues of North America"
Mission of Louis Davidson's SYNAGOGUES360: SYNAGOGUE 360provides a visual record of Jewish culture, showing and preserving synagogues by means of interactive 360 degree panoramic photos. It invites you and future generations to view the interiors of Jewish places of worship, which are clear and irrefutable indicators of the state of Jewish culture, architecture, art and stature in their communities throughout the Diaspora. Each synagogue is literally a “sign of the times” and window into the Jewish past and present.
Time, weather, political and demographic shift inevitably erode cities and buildings. These along with occasional upsurges of violent anti-Semitism, have been particularly thorough erasers of the physical evidence of Jewish history. SYNAGOGUES360 visually and digitally saves Jewish synagogues, an impressive physical expression of Jewish culture, for this and culture, for this and future generations to see and experience.
Please read this article by Jewish Journal spotlighting Louis Davidson and his photography.
The Dortort Center Galleries are located at Hillel at UCLA. The public is invited to view our exhibits Monday through Friday from 10:00am to 4:00pm (or at other times by special request) when school is in session.
For questions, please contact Perla Karney at 310-208-3081 x108 or email@example.com