Imagery After Abstraction: Filling the Void - Panel Discussion

The Jewish Art Salon and the Kraft Center present: 

Roundtable Discussion

Imagery After Abstraction: Filling the Void

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 - 7:30-8:15 PM  
Preceded by a 6:00 PM Reception for Into the Void, art exhibition by Cynthia Beth Rubin.

In explorations of imagery drawn from influences as diverse as Kabbalah,  Memory, and Mystical Science, artists who did once pure abstractions take the lessons of the interaction of color and form to create representational infused with layers of meaning and message.

Helene Aylon, Artist, Jewish Art Salon Member.

Elisa Decker, Artist, Jewish Art Salon Member, Reviewer for Art in America.

Bruria FinkelArtist, Jewish Artists Initiative Member, Women's Caucus for Art.   

Cynthia Beth RubinArtist, Jewish Art Salon Advisory Board Member.

Debra Zarlin Edelman, Chair of the Arts Advisory Board at the Jewish Theological Seminary, Jewish Museum Exhibition Committee Board.

Columbia / Barnard Kraft Center for Jewish Student Life
606 West 115 Street, New York, NY 10025 
#1 Train to 116 St, Buses M4, M5, M104 to 116 St. M60 Bus from 125 St METRO-NORTH.


Some of the questions to be asked that night:
  • Why were Jewish Artists and critics at the forefront of Abstraction, and how did that affect our formative years?
  • What moved us from Abstraction to Imagery - and in particular, did the emergence of Digital Media influence this shift?
  • Is there a spiritual/historical/ethnic/cultural reason why are using the imagery that we are using, and does this relate to Jewish core values?

The Feminist Press just published Aylon's memoir, "Whatever is Contained Must Be Released: My Jewish Orthodox Girlhood, My Life as a Feminist Artist."  It traces how she began with abstraction and with each decade, filled the void with the 'rescue of The Body, The Earth, and G-d' from the misuses of the patriarchy. 
In the 70s she emerged as an abstract painter, showing in the Lyrical Abstraction  exhibit at the Whitney  and  process paintings that change in time at MIT and Betty Parsons gallery. However, in the 80s she drove an "Earth Ambulance" to military sites nationwide,  and floated two sacs of seeds on the waters of Japan en route to Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
In the 90's, her installation  "The Liberation of G-d" was  shown in the NY and SF Jewish Museums and the LA Hammer Museum. Since the 00s, the work became more autobiographical; Her installation "My Marriage Bed and My Clean Days" was shown at the Ein Harod museum in Israel. 

Elisa Decker has work in the collections of Pfizer Inc., Peter Hay Halpert, International Art Studio, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. She is an exhibiting member of Professional Women Photographers (PWP). In 2008, her work was featured in PWP magazine’s March/June Issue XXV.

A reviewer for Art in America magazine since 2004, Decker also organizes and leads art gallery walks.

Her work was chosen for "Here and Everywhere: 2012 MICA Alumni Exhibition at Spattered Columns/Art Connects New York." A solo show of Decker’s photographs was held at the Gallery of the Manhattan Borough President’s Office in New York City in March 2010. The Ultimate Eye Foundation selected her photograph, “Cursive Indigo” for “Waking Dreams” at Peninsula Museum of Art, Calif. (2008). 

Debra Zarlin Edelman 

Zarlin Edelman is the lay-chair of the Arts Advisory Board at The Jewish Theological Seminary, is co-chair of the Board’s Visual Arts Committee, whose inaugural exhibition Reading the Visual/Visualizing the Text can be viewed at JTS through May 2013.  

Debra is a graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School, and received a master’s in Jewish Art & Visual Culture from JTS.  She currently serves on the Fine Arts Acquisition and Board Exhibition Committees of The Jewish Museum, New York.

Finkel is a sculptor, painter working in mixed media and a curator.
She has had many exhibitions in museums and galleries including; The Shtatmuseum, Düsseldorf Germany, The Santa Monica Museum of Art, De Saisset Museum, Santa Clara, The Skirball Museum of Art, Los Angeles, the Palm Springs Museum and The Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) DC., where her work is placed on permanent view. She had over seventy-eight solo and group shows.

Bruria created temporary Art Installations in Germany and England, and worked in collaboration with architects, on private construction projects and art for public spaces. 

She has been a founding member of the Los Angeles Women Council for the arts, and the Santa Monica Arts Commission. Since 1966 she has translated the works of the 13th century Cabalist Abraham Abulafia from Hebrew to English, which informs her work. Finkel resides in Santa Monica, California.

Rubin is a new media artist working in still imagery, video, and inter-activity.  Trained as a painter, she began working in digital imagery in 1984, before the days of easy scanning and digital photography.  While still enmeshed in the thinking of abstract expressionism, her search for new influences led her first to Islamic art and eventually to Hebrew manuscripts and the historic sense of place. 

The recipient of the first Connecticut Commission artist's grant in New Media, she has received this grant 3 times, as well as grants from the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, the New England Foundation for the Arts, among others.  Multiple artist residencies throughout France, as well as Scotland, israel, and Canada, further expanded her artistic sensibilities.  

Rubin has exhibited internationally in places as diverse as Australia, Brazil, France, and Siberia.  A native of Rochester, NY, she currently lives in New Haven, serves on the Advisory Board of the Jewish Art Salon, and teaches part-time at Rhode Island School of Design.

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