“Identity, Art and Migration” investigates the experience of seven Jewish European artists who were forced to abandon their country of origin, or remain in hiding for years, in response to Nazi policies in effect from 1933 to 1945. These six artists: Anni Albers, Friedel Dzubas, Eva Hesse, Rudi Lesser, Lily Renée and Arthur Szyk emigrated to the United States, while one, Fritz Ascher, stayed behind in Germany, hiding in a basement for three years. These artists’ lives and work address the multi-layered concept of identity and the particulars of its expression from slightly different angles. We invite you to explore with us how these wrenching experiences affected their sense of who they were, and the art they made. [...]
The Pencil and the Sword.
How Lily Renée (1921–2022)
Put her Art to Work Against the Nazis
Featuring Sabine Apostolo and Michael Freund
Jewish Museum Vienna, Austria
Born 1921 in Vienna, Lily Renée Willheim led a sheltered and cultured life until the age of 17 when she had to flee from the Nazi powers, first to England, then to New York. By accident and because of her artistic talent, she became one of the leading cartoonists during World War Two, creating artwork in which anti-fascist messages were as important as aesthetic considerations. For many decades after the end of the war, she continued to work creatively in various art forms. Image above: Detail of Lily Renée, Title Page, Femforce Good Girl art quarterly, reprint, summer 1991 © Lily Renée In their presentations, Sabine Apostolo and Michael [...]
Eva Hesse (1936–1970): Returning to the Source?
Featuring Eva’s sister Helen Charash and Ori Z. Soltes, PhD
Eva Hesse arrived to the United States as a 3-year-old, was raised in a community largely of Holocaust survivors, and by her Twenties was a rising star on the New York art scene, contributing a unique voice to the shaping of post-Abstract Expressionist art. A key turning point in her innovative art was a return visit to Germany on an artist fellowship. How do we understand the work of this brilliant figure whose life suddenly ended, from brain cancer, at the age of 34? She was born into an observant Jewish family in Hamburg, in a Germany being devoured by the Nazis. She and her older sister Helen were sent to the Netherlands in 1938—when she was not [...]