Year of Art Continued

Last week I came to an opening at the Contemporary Jewish Museum. 


Photo: CJM Twitter @ jewseum

The exhibit “Jews and Midcentury Modernism,” is a look at the architecture, graphics and home design that came out of Jewish Communities forging life in midcentury America.  As artists left Europe, they both assimilated into American culture and created new identities in the modernist spirit developing from 1920-1960.  The work isn’t particularly wrought with religious influence, and bares the minimalism and upheaval of shifting mid century culture.  The artists “found respectful supporters in socially conscious institutions,” amiable towns and art meccas like New York’s Museum of Modern Art. {Current Shows NYT)

Cultural contribution during emigration and recolonization is a very interesting way to think about midcentury design.  The Renaissance in Italy in the 1400’s was largely brought on by similar emigration and collapse of entire artist networks.  As Turkey and Greece experienced greater instability leading up to the fall of Constantinople in 1453, artists fled to nearby Italy.  They coalesced in places like Venice, strengthening these centers of art, mathematics and design.  In a similar way we can think of Jewish emigration in the mid twentieth century as having a fortuitous impact on American culture, in spite of the decimation in European homelands.

Here is a good writeup of the exhibition, from SFArts


Paul Rand Logo Design

Rand was raised in a strict Orthodox Jewish home in Brooklyn New York. Orthodox Jewish law forbids the creation of images that can be worshiped as idols, so this entire wall of corporate titan logos is a thought provoking addition to the CJM exhibit!

Maybe it’s just been a lucky [birthday] month, but I have been getting some really great emails lately…

Shameless self-promotion. I will be live-drawing for an event at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco next Saturday night! Click through for deetz.