The thirteen artists showcased in this exhibition "Repairing the World: Contemporary Ritual Art" have created ceremonial pieces that investigate a wide range of issues and challenges facing modern Jewish life as well as broader society. From The New Yorker to Shrek: The Art of William Steig.
Repairing the World: Contemporary Ritual Art
For centuries, artists have created beautiful and functional works of ceremonial art designed for use on specific holidays or rituals. Contemporary artists have used these traditional forms as starting points, while creating fresh and innovative designs that reflect the world in which they are working. Some of the most exciting and inventive of these artworks not only use new materials and creative design, but also serve as a canvas for exploring contemporary social and political issues.
The thirteen artists showcased in this exhibition have created ceremonial pieces that investigate a wide range of issues and challenges facing modern Jewish life as well as broader society. Many of the artists have explored feminist themes, creating objects that celebrate women's oft-neglected roles in Jewish history and in general society. Other artists explore issues of violence and political conflict. By exploring these issues through the vessel of traditional forms, these artists bring fresh relevance to the themes of the stories and holidays that inspire these objects. The wide variety of issues explored in these works speaks to the breadth of connections these artists have been able to find between Jewish ritual and contemporary challenges. By putting modern issues and ancient traditions in dialogue with each other, each takes on deeper meaning and universal resonance.
Harriete Estel Berman
Laurel J. Robinson
From The New Yorker to Shrek: The Art of William Steig
Hailed as the "King of Cartoons," William Steig had a long and acclaimed career as both a brilliant cartoonist and an award-winning, beloved author of children’s literature, including his 1990 picture book Shrek! ("fear" in Yiddish) which has been turned into a series of popular animated films. Born in Brooklyn, New York, on November 14, 1907, to Eastern European Jewish immigrants, Steig grew up in the Bronx and began illustrating for The New Yorker in 1930. His prolific association with the magazine is the longest by far of any of its cartoonists, with over 1,600 drawings as well as over 120 covers published during a period of 73 years. Scheduled for the centennial of the artist’s birth, this exhibition will pay tribute to Steig’s incredible creativity by featuring a wide selection of original drawings for both his New Yorker cartoons and his children's books such as Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, Doctor De Soto, Amos & Boris, Brave Irene, Gorky Rises, Dominic, When Everybody Wore a Hat, and of course Shrek! as well as his less known mid-life "symbolic drawings." This in-depth presentation will also shed light on Steig’s life as it relates to his work and will be complemented by a range of public and educational programs for both adults and children.
Image: Neil Goldberg
The Jewish Museum
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