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The 1913 Armory Show

Camille Pissarro, Paul Burlin, Elie Nadelman, Jo Davidson, Abraham Walkowitz, and William Zorach were among the Jewish artists represented at the Armory Show in New York City, which opened on this date in 1913 and introduced America to the avant-garde of the art world. Known officially as the “International Exhibition of Modern Art,” the show […]

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Roy Nathanson and Radical Jewish Culture

by Marty Roth   There is a life of tradition that is not just about conservative preservation, about the constant continuation of the spiritual and cultural goods of a community. There is also something like a treasure hunt in the tradition that establishes a living relationship with tradition and that is committed to much of […]

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December 30: El Lissitzky

Russian artist, graphic designer, and architect El Lissitzky, an important avant-garde creator who strongly influenced the Bauhaus and constructivist movements, died at 51 on this date in 1941. Born in Lithuania, Lissitzky was barred by the anti-Semitic quota system from attending an art academy in Saint Petersburg, so he took himself to Germany in 1909 […]

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Barbez’ “Bella Ciao” — and a Few Words about Lou Reed

by Jacob L. Perl “Bella Ciao,” Barbez’s second release on the radical Jewish Culture Series of John Zorn’s Tzadik label, draws from Roman Jewish religious melodies and centers around the Italian partisan resistance to the fascists. The album features readings in English translation of poems by Pier Paolo Pasolini and Alfonso Gatto, poets who spoke […]

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January 31: Philip Glass

Acclaimed composer Philip Glass, the son of Lithuanian Jewish immigrants who owned a record store, was born in Baltimore on this date in 1937. He was keyboard and composition student at the Juilliard School of Music when, in 1959, he won one of the BMI Foundation’s prestigious Student Composer Awards. As a Fulbright scholar, Glass […]

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November 14: Delaunay’s Orphism Art Movement

Sonia Delaunay (Sarah Ilinitchna Stern), the first living woman artist to have a retrospective exhibition at the Louvre (1964), was born in the Ukraine on this date in 1885. In Paris after 1905, she founded, with her husband Robert Delaunay, the Orphism Art Movement, an offshoot of Cubism that emphasized pure geometric abstraction and bright […]

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August 4: The Muse of the Russian Avant-Garde

Lilya Brik (Kagan), who became lovers with the great Russian futurist poet Vladimir Mayakofsky while living in an open marriage with her husband, writer Osip Brik, ended her life at age 87 on this date in 1978. Brik was a sculptor, writer, architect, and filmmaker who was named by Pablo Neruda as the “muse of […]

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January 23: Jeanette Ingberman’s Exit Art

Jeanette Ingberman, who co-founded the avant-garde political art center, Exit Art, in Soho, New York, was born on this date in 1952. The daughter of Polish Holocaust survivors, and fluent in Yiddish, Ingberman worked as a curator at the International Center of Photography and the Bronx Museum of the Arts, where she met her life […]

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November 30: The Transgressor

Experimental feminist novelist Kathy Acker (Karen Lehman) died at age 50 on this date in 1997. Acker combined autobiography, plagiarism, cut-up techniques (developed by William S. Burroughs), pornography, violence, and other styles, themes, and genres in her writing, and achieved a reputation as a feminist, a punk, and a transgressive artist. She married twice, lived […]

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November 20: Meredith Monk

Composer, choreographer, theater artist and singer Meredith Monk was born in Lima, Peru on this date in 1942. In 1968 she  founded The House, a company dedicated to interdisciplinary performance, and in 1978 she formed Meredith Monk & Vocal Ensemble. Monk is perhaps most widely known for her uncanny, highly emotional vocalizations, which seem to […]

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