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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » October 14, 2009
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Jewish Identity and the Avant-Garde
October 14, 2009 By M.H.    
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The £ód¼ Art Museum is putting on an intriguing exhibition entitled "Pole, Jew, Artist." The theme concerns the identity of an avant-garde artist with a Jewish background and the ways in which this affects his or her work.

The exhibition examines how this identity is constructed, what kind of experience defines it, how strongly it is determined by belonging to a diasporal culture, and to what extent efforts are made to go beyond it. The exhibition aims to show a broad spectrum of views, from a modernization approach having a tendency to create "a new national Jewish art" through to an ethos of cultivating the avant-garde within an existing cultural milieu, through to an assimilation which discards the context of its own culture, and on to an identification with either the Polish or the international avant-garde scene.

The works of artists associated with formism, such as Henryk Gottlieb, stand alongside those of the "Jung Idysz" school of Jankiel Adler, Marek Szwarc and Moj¿esz Broderson, the constructivist movement whose exponents include Henryk Berlewi, Teresa ¯arnowerówna, Samuel Szczekacz, the surrealism of Ludwik Lille and Marek W³odarski (his work "Hairdresser" below), and the radical leftist Cracow Group of Jonasz Stern and Sasza Blonder.

The exhibition touches on avant-garde literature, theater and music in addition to painting, graphics and sculpture. There is an accompanying booklet with essays from the world's leading experts on Jewish avant-garde culture.

Museum of Art; 19 Ogrodowa St., £ód¼
Until Jan. 31
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