|Jewish Zodiac by Mark Podwal|
Podwal’s work, however, is not only limited to drawings and illustrations. He has also designed Torah mantles and curtains for Temple Emanu-El in New York City, as well as a gold medal for the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, a Congressional Gold Medal and the poster for the Lincoln Center Jerusalem 3000 celebration. His work has also been animated for television in a film about a Passover Seder with Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel.
|Pomegranates by Mark Podwal|
Attracted by Jewish tradition, stories about angels, demons, the Golem and life in the Shtetls of Eastern Europe (from where his parents emigrated to the United States in the 1920s) however, Podwal soon began drawing traditional subject matter, which gradually came to dominate his work. As he himself says: “As a physician, I believe in science. As an artist I believe in legends.” He is inspired by old manuscripts, amulets and ritual objects, as well as by the Signs of the Zodiac, but also by the shapes of Hebrew letters and their role in the Creation and in the joining of the heavenly and earthly realms. Although Podwal’s drawings may appear simple in terms of form, they bring a new perspective on things that are seemingly familiar, as well as providing new meanings and connections, metaphors and wit. It is no co-incidence that children’s books occupy a special place in his work.
|Kabbalistic Key by Mark Podwal|
A catalogue has been published in conjunction with the exhibition. This includes an introductory text by Elisheva Carlebach (professor of Jewish history and culture at Columbia University) and illustrations of almost all of the 80 works on display (from the collection of the Jewish Museum in Prague and from the artist’s own collection).
JEWISH MAGIC IN THE ART OF MARK PODWAL
27 June – 11 November 2012
Robert Guttmann Gallery
U Staré školy 3, Prague 1, Tel. +420 221 711 553
Open daily, except Saturdays and Jewish holidays
9 a.m. – 6 p.m. (27 June – 26 October)
9 a.m. – 4.30 p.m. (28 October – 11 November)
Images Courtesy of Mark Podwal.