Arts features

The golden age that the pogroms couldn’t destroy

By Julia Weiner, February 5, 2009

In the decade from 1340, the Black Death (or bubonic plague) killed millions of people in Europe. Around one third of the continent’s population died of the disease.


A nation in one family

By Alex Kasriel, January 14, 2009

Israeli society is complicated but photographer Vardi Kahana has come up with a novel way of explaining its myriad lifestyles, groups and history.

Kahana has focused on one large extended family and photographed them over a long period of time. And the family she has chosen? Her own, of course.

Using her mother and her two sisters as a starting point, Kahana — who has two children herself — has been documenting her relatives’ lives for the past 15 years. The resulting images are now going on show in London in an exhibition called One Family.


What not to miss over the next 12 months

By Alex Kasriel, December 30, 2008

Visual Art


The year in review

December 23, 2008



The Saatchi of the North

By Julia Weiner, December 11, 2008

Frank Cohen started out in the painting and decorating business 50 years ago. But despite making a fortune from DIY, it is a different kind of painting for which he is most now famous.

Cohen, 65, is one of the best-known collectors of contemporary art in the world, with a collection worth millions amassed over 40 years. He is known as the “Saatchi of the North”, after that other famous Jewish art lover, and in reference to the fact that he has resisted the lure of London — the centre of the art world — and is still based in his hometown of Manchester.


Why the artist made Kate Moss look ugly

By Alex Kasriel, November 20, 2008

She paints bold, arresting, images of models and pop singers such as Kate Moss, Agnes Deyn and MIA. And all her subjects share the same sunken eyes, emaciated frames and vacuous expressions.

But New York artist Katherine Bernhardt insists she is not trying to make a social comment of the materialistic world of popular culture.


How a cartoon helped heal a Lebanon veteran

By Tod Norman, November 13, 2008

Lebanon 1982 was "my" war. Mine in the sense that a slave says "my master", or a hostage says "my kidnapper". Mine in that it has, more than anything else - my wife, my children, my move to the UK from my native United States - defined the last 24 years of my life. Mine.


The neurosis doctors

By Paul Lester, November 13, 2008

It is not many television filmmakers who could assemble a cast of contributors so varied it includes Bob Geldof, Stephen Fry, Hollywood stars Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon, philosopher Noam Chomsky and spiritual teacher Ram Dass.

And few are the filmmakers who could get Geldof to admit to suicidal tendencies and Robbins to expound on the problems of medicating "difficult" children, all the while acquiring new music for the soundtrack from the likes of Michael Stipe and Alanis Morrisette.


Paying tribute to the artist who made Londoners iconic

By Julia Weiner, November 13, 2008

Every so often, the press debates whether the art of painting is dead. One artist who proved that painting is still with us was Simon Black, whose career was cut short in March this year by his death from cancer, just a couple of weeks before his 50th birthday.

His widow, Raina Sheridan, has worked with friends to organise an exhibition of his last works in London, which will then travel to Manchester Jewish Museum.


Babylon, fact and myth

By Julia Weiner, November 6, 2008

Having just closed an exhibition devoted to one arch-villain of Jewish history, namely Hadrian, who brutally suppressed the revolt of Simon Bar Kochba, the British Museum is opening another major show which focuses on another tormentor of the Jewish people - the Babylonian ruler Nebuchadnezzar II. In 587 BCE, he conquered Jerusalem, destroyed the Solomonic Temple and deported a sizeable portion of the Jewish population to Babylon, beginning a period of exile of 70 years which became known as the Babylonian captivity.