Arts features

Mark Rothko, Hebrew prophet

By Rabbi Jeremy Gordon, September 25, 2008

A religious spirit fills the paintings of the abstract-expressionist master.

Mark Rothko, ne Marcus Rothkowitz, hated being called an abstract expressionist - he even disliked being called a painter. He wanted his work to pour over the viewer, sucking them into his world. He wanted the work to shake its viewers out of an accustomed way of viewing gallery-art; bustling through the halls en route to tea-room and gift-shop. For him, pretty, chocolate-box images on big white gallery walls would not do.


Why a 9/11 widow went graphic with her grief

By Anthea Gerrie, September 19, 2008

Alissa Torres has suffered humiliation and despair since she lost her husband in the attack on the Twin Towers seven years ago. Writing a graphic novel has eased her pain

A psychic once told Alissa Torres she would one day become a writer, "but not in the way you might expect".


Guide to Simcha on the Square

By Charlotte Fisher, September 12, 2008

Thousands of people are expected at this Sunday's Simcha on the Square in Central London. Awaiting them is one of the strongest line-ups of Jewish musicians to be assembled this side of the Russian steppes.

Headlining are Grammy-Award winning Klezmatics. The New York-based band, led by inspirational frontman and trumpeter Frank London, were responsible for kickstarting the whole Jewish music revival back in the 1980s.


‘It’s our duty to keep the culture alive’

By Alexandra Mankowitz, August 15, 2008

My own journey to Yiddish culture had unpromising beginnings. As a Jew-ish girl growing up in the 1980s in a very secular home in West London, the language did not feature in my life at all, aside from a loud "geshmakt!" (loosely translated as "mmmm") from my father every time he hugged us. It was not until I reached my twenties that I realised there was more to Yiddish than the few words I heard as a child: that it was a real language, with a real culture.


Caught on canvas: big screen artists

By Julia Weiner, August 8, 2008

You are almost as likely to find a TV screen in an art gallery as a framed painting these days. Young video-artists Aura Satz and Yael Bartana are at the forefront of this new trend.


Seriously, they are the world’s hottest jokers

By Mark Leveson, August 1, 2008

As the comedy fest that is the Edinburgh Fringe gets under way, the Bafta-award winning creator of BBC2's Mock the Week names the six comics who most tickle his ribs


Seth Rogen


Hardrian the bone-grinder

By Julia Weiner, July 25, 2008

The British Museum depicts Roman Emperor Hadrian as a cruel oppressor of Jews

Think of the Roman emperor Hadrian, and the wall separating England and Scotland might come to mind. Alternatively, you might reflect on his building of that triumph of engineering, the Pantheon in Rome. But if you are Jewish, Hadrian is inextricably linked with the brutal suppression of the revolt against the Roman occupation of Judea almost 1,900 years ago, for which he earned the soubriquet "the bone-grinder".


The man turning swimming pools into art galleries

By Lemez Lovas, July 11, 2008

Israeli Joel Cahen is placing underwater speakers in public baths in the name of art.

In the world of British contemporary art, where crude shock tactics have long been the dull norm, it takes an awful lot — or a beautifully simple idea — to grab the public’s attention.

Step forward London-based Israeli sound artist Joel Cahen, curator of Wet Sounds, an appealing new art project that does not require anything from audiences except a swimming costume and an open mind.


Golden age for the art of the States

By Julia Weiner, July 4, 2008

An exhibition of prints shows the strength in depth of America’s 20th-century artistic talent

The American scene

British Museum, London WC1

This exhibition of prints reveals the talents of a number of less well-known Jewish American artists who were involved in a number of art movements, ranging from modernism to social realism. One of the most memorable images on show is Louis Lozowick’s lithograph, New York. 


The exiles who cut it

By Julia Weiner, July 4, 2008

By providing a home for Polish painters fleeing the Nazis, Britain’s art scene was significantly enriched

Art in Exile

Boundary Gallery, London NW8

Hitler’s distaste for the avant-garde is well-documented. He regarded all modern-art movements as “degenerate” on the grounds that they were un-German and “Jewish Bolshevist”.