The Jewish New Year is upon us, and it feels as if the New keeps coming.
The exhibition “The Loner. Clowns in Fritz Ascher’s Art (1893-1970)” at Forum Jacob Pins in Höxter, Germany was opened with an event following social distancing rules, my video greeting and a concert in the courtyard. The exhibition is on view until November 29, and I very much encourage you to see it (more information HERE).
In the exhibition, Ascher’s depictions of clowns are contrasted with depictions of nature, which dominated his post-Holocaust work. Inspired by the nearby Grunewald, the artist created vivid landscapes and powerful close-ups of the sun, trees and flowers, which celebrate the survival and continuity of nature. The strength and resilience of the trees which defy storms and seasons, become symbols of human hope.
Resilience and hope take on another form in the work of Felix Nussbaum, which is the theme of our next free online conversation in the monthly zoom series “Fight or Flight. stories of artists under repression,” generously funded by Allianz Partners. On October 7, 2020 at 12:00pm ET, Anne Sibylle Schwetter from Osnabrück speaks about “Painting as an Act of Resistance. The artist Felix Nussbaum”. You can register for the event HERE.
The German-Jewish artist Felix Nussbaum (1904 Osnabrück – 1944 Auschwitz) started a promising career in Berlin around 1930, which ended abruptly when the National Socialists came to power in 1933. Years in exile in Italy and Belgium followed. In 1942 Nussbaum went into hiding in Brussels. The artist’s last paintings were created here from June 1943 until shortly before his arrest in June 1944. A little later he was murdered in Auschwitz.
Like hardly any other painter of his generation, Nussbaum reflected on personal experiences in the context of the time in his pictures and developed his own artistic style within figurative-representational modernism.
As we reflect on this past year, 5780, I share with you two of the artist’s Self-Portraits.
Wishing you and yours a sweet New Year filled with hope, strength and good health!
With all best wishes,
Rachel Stern, Director and CEO
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artwork Fritz Ascher ©2020 Bianca Stock, Photo Malcolm Varon