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June 13: “Between Picture and Onlooker”

On this date in 1943, Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman, and Adolph Gottlieb responded to New York Times critic Edward Alden Jewell’s “befuddlement” about their artworks in the Federation of Modern Painters and Sculptors exhibition at the Wildenstein Gallery in New York. Invited to respond in Jewell’s column, the three declared that “explanation” of their works […]

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February 25: From Her Walls to the Met

Muriel Kallis Steinberg Newman, a painter who contributed several dozen works of Abstract Expressionist art by the likes of Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell, Mark Rothko, and Franz Kline to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and 170 works to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, was born in Chicago on this […]

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November 4: Raphael Soyer’s Canvases

The leftwing painter Raphael Soyer, the best-known of three artist brothers (including his twin Moses and Isaac), died at 87 on this date in 1987. Soyer was admired for his realistic street scenes and his intimate paintings of people in face-to-face circumstances or states of introspection during the Great Depression. He was also known  for […]

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Soviet Photography at the Jewish Museum

by Jeffrey Kassel Discussed in this essay: The Power of Pictures: Early Soviet Photography, Early Soviet Film, curated by Susan Tumarkin Goodman. The Jewish Museum, September 25, 2015 – February 7, 2016. THE JEWISH MUSEUM in New York City has mounted an exhibit, “The Power Of Pictures: Early Soviet Photography, Early Soviet Film,” on display […]

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An Interview with Tamar Zinn

Over at 365 Artists 365 Days, Jewish Currents editorial board member and painter Tamar Zinn is interviewed about her work, particularly her new series Blacks and Whites and Tangle. It’s tempting (but maybe too easy?) to see the former as her most recent experiments in color and the latter as her most recent in line, […]

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December 12: Helen Frankenthaler

Abstract painter Helen Frankenthaler, who was awarded the National Medal of the Arts in 2001, was born to a wealthy German-Jewish family in Manhattan on this date in 1928. Championed early in her career by Clement Greenberg, Frankenthaler developed a staining method that involved soaking canvases in color by pouring turpentine-thinned paint onto them. This […]

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