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Ori Z. Soltes

Jul 19, 2023

Between America and France:
Varian Fry and the Rescue of Artists
Talk by Ori Z Soltes, PhD

2023-07-19T13:51:04-04:00July 19th, 2023|, , |Comments Off on Between America and France:
Varian Fry and the Rescue of Artists
Talk by Ori Z Soltes, PhD

With a belated reminder of the proximity of the American and French Independent Day celebrations, this talk focuses on the artists’ Schindler, the American journalist, Varian Fry (1907-1967). Using methods both legal and not, Fry managed to rescue some 2,000 individuals from France between 1940 and 1941. France had become largely swallowed up by Nazi Germany, the “free” parts in Southern France (Vichy France) were not necessarily unreluctant to assist with the deportation of Jews into Nazi-held territories, and the US immigration policies were far from open-handed to those seeking refuge. Who was he and who were some of those he helped—or in some cases, could not help—to escape destruction? Lecture by Ori Z. Soltes, introduced and moderated by [...]

Apr 26, 2023

Benno Elkan (1877-1960)
and the Definition of Israeli Art
Talk by Ori Z Soltes, PhD

2023-04-26T13:54:56-04:00April 26th, 2023|, , |Comments Off on Benno Elkan (1877-1960)
and the Definition of Israeli Art
Talk by Ori Z Soltes, PhD

In honor of Yom Ha'azmaut, Israel's Independence Day, and this year's 75th anniversary of the establishment of the modern state of Israel in 1948, this talk by Georgetown University professor Ori Z Soltes addresses the question of what defines Israeli art and when it began to take shape. Is it made only by Israelis---then how did Elkan's Menorah become the consummate symbol of Israel when he never lived in the state? Did "Israeli" art begin with or before the birth of the state? How does this relate to the opening of the Bezalel School of Art in 1906--and closing by 1929, only to re-open years later? How does it relate to the question of defining Jewish art? Benno Elkan's stunning work, [...]

Apr 17, 2023

EARLY ISRAELI AND AMERICAN ARTISTS:
RE-VISIONING THE HOLOCAUST.
Talk by Ori Z Soltes, Georgetown University, Washington DC

2023-04-17T19:19:05-04:00April 17th, 2023|, , |Comments Off on EARLY ISRAELI AND AMERICAN ARTISTS:
RE-VISIONING THE HOLOCAUST.
Talk by Ori Z Soltes, Georgetown University, Washington DC

In honor of Yom HaShoah, this talk by Georgetown University professor Ori Z Soltes focuses on three Israeli and three American familiar and unfamiliar artists working in very diverse styles and not typically thought of as focusing on the Holocaust. Each of them, however, has offered powerful reflections on the defining catastrophe of the twentieth century. Barnett Newman, the foremost verbal spokesman for the chromatic side of the abstract expressionist movement redefining American painting in the early 1950s, offers an unexpectedly intense reflection on the question of theodicy. Mordecai Ardon, in the process of assuming leadership of the Bezalel school in Jerusalem at around the same time, balances between abstraction and figuration in depicting the Nazi-engendered chaos. Yigal Tumarkin’s [...]

Mar 30, 2023

FRITZ ASCHER SOCIETY Newsletter April 2023

2023-04-03T09:59:19-04:00March 30th, 2023|Newsletter|Comments Off on FRITZ ASCHER SOCIETY Newsletter April 2023

Spring is here! Let’s celebrate with Fritz Ascher’s blossoming Golden Chain. Just this past week, March 26, marked the 53rd anniversary of his death. Born in 1893 to Jewish parents in Berlin, Fritz Ascher (1893-1970) survived persecution by the German Nazi regime in hiding. Fritz Ascher, Golden Chain, ca 1959. Oil on canvas, 25.6 x 27.6 in. (65 x 70 cm). ©Bianca Stock Watch New York scholars Karen Wilkin and Elizabeth Berkowitz, PhD, discuss his post-1945 landscapes: WATCH THE RECORDING Dr. Eva Sabrina Atlan’s January 11 lecture in our virtual lecture series “Flight or Fight. stories of artists under repression” has found much interest. Today, we are excited to offer an English-language virtual [...]

Feb 23, 2023

FRITZ ASCHER SOCIETY Newsletter March 2023

2023-02-23T08:11:27-05:00February 23rd, 2023|Newsletter|Comments Off on FRITZ ASCHER SOCIETY Newsletter March 2023

Have we got exciting events for you! Hear about the influential British photographer Dorothy Bohm, now aged 98, from her daughter: Wednesday, March 1 12:00 pm EST / 17:00 Uhr GMT DOROTHY BOHM (B. 1924): A WORLD OBSERVED Lecture by Monica Bohm-Duchen ZOOM EVENT REGISTRATION Dorothy Bohm, Haifa, Israel, 1959. © Dorothy Bohm Archive London-based art historian Monica Bohm-Duchen will give her personal insights into the life and work of her mother, photographer Dorothy Bohm, who as a girl of fourteen found sanctuary from Nazi Europe in the UK, and in due course established herself as one of the leading figures in post-war British photography. Dorothy Bohm was born Dorothea Israelit [...]

Dec 7, 2022

The Shape and Color of Survival.
Samuel Bak (born Vilnius, Lithuania, 1933)
Lecture by Ori Z Soltes, PhD

2022-12-07T18:53:36-05:00December 7th, 2022|, , |Comments Off on The Shape and Color of Survival.
Samuel Bak (born Vilnius, Lithuania, 1933)
Lecture by Ori Z Soltes, PhD

Image above: Samuel Bak, Warsaw Excavation, 2007. Oil on canvas, 16 x 20 in. Image Courtesy Pucker Gallery © Samuel Bak Samuel Bak was 6 years old when the Nazis began ending his childhood, as the war that they engendered would soon extend to his native Vilnius. The number “6” became an important element in his art, since it is also the number of the Commandment with which God enjoins us not to commit murder, for which the Holocaust represented such a profound abrogation. His father smuggled him out of the ghetto in the sack that he was still permitted to use to gather firewood—and was subsequently murdered by the regime. By then Bak himself had already [...]

Oct 3, 2022

From Generation to Generation:
The Upbringing and Art of
Mimi Gross (born 1940, New York)

2022-10-03T13:54:27-04:00October 3rd, 2022|, , |Comments Off on From Generation to Generation:
The Upbringing and Art of
Mimi Gross (born 1940, New York)

Mimi Gross is the daughter of well-known sculptor Chaim Gross (1902–1991). She grew up to become an artist and one obvious question one might ask is how her work was influenced by and/or diverged from her father's work. But both Chaim and his wife Renee were immigrants--so New York City-born Mimi grew up as an American in an immigrant household, which might raise the question: were there issues derived from the particulars of her growing up that affected her and her art--and might one imagine the curve of her life as different in a non-immigrant context, or a context experienced at a different time in American and world history? These and other questions are discussed in a dialogue between Mimi Gross and [...]

Jul 26, 2022

Death and Immortality:
The Gentle Power of Hans von Trotha’s “Pollak’s Arm”
Hans von Trotha and Ori Z Soltes in conversation

2022-08-25T13:01:20-04:00July 26th, 2022|, , |Comments Off on Death and Immortality:
The Gentle Power of Hans von Trotha’s “Pollak’s Arm”
Hans von Trotha and Ori Z Soltes in conversation

Ludwig Pollak (Prague 1868-1943 Auschwitz) was an extraordinary connoisseur of antiquities--an Austro-Hungarian Jew whose path into academia was impeded by his religion, but who settled in Rome, where he carved out a unique place for himself as an expert in recognizing, understanding, and organizing great works of art. It was he who shaped and articulated the magnificent collections of JP Morgan. Of perhaps even greater consequence, his astute eye saw a sculpted fragment of an arm in a flea market that, he deduced, was the limb missing from the spectacular Hellenistic-Roman sculptural group known as Laocoon. He gifted that arm fragment to the Vatican so that it might complete the work that occupied an important place within [...]

Apr 26, 2022

FRITZ ASCHER SOCIETY Newsletter May 2022

2022-04-28T09:33:15-04:00April 26th, 2022|Newsletter|Comments Off on FRITZ ASCHER SOCIETY Newsletter May 2022

Dear Friends, Thursday is Yom HaShoah - Holocaust Memorial Day. In January, we invited you to actively commemorate victims of National Socialism by contributing to the Arolsen Archive’s digital memorial #EVERYNAMECOUNTS. I know that some of you found the project so meaningful that you are still donating your time to it. Right now, you can choose to enter data of documents from Buchenwald, Flossenbürg or Dachau: PARTICIPATE HERE This Thursday, I invite all to donate time to help build this important digital memorial. On our website you find further information about the project and our partnership with the Arolsen Archive: https://fritzaschersociety.org/digifas/everynamecounts/ And please share your experience with us! In May, we turn to the experience of [...]

Apr 14, 2022

Identity, Art and Migration:
Artist Refugees from Nazi Germany and Today
School of Visual Arts, New York

2022-05-02T14:41:57-04:00April 14th, 2022|, |Comments Off on Identity, Art and Migration:
Artist Refugees from Nazi Germany and Today
School of Visual Arts, New York

Note: Attendees must provide proof of vaccination (including booster, if eligible) and advance Eventbrite registration. Presented by BFA Visual & Critical Studies, the SVA Honors Program, and The Fritz Ascher Society for Persecuted, Ostracized, and Banned Art. In honor of The Fritz Ascher Society for Persecuted, Ostracized and Banned Art's virtual exhibition “Identity, Art and Migration,” this panel discussion probes historical and all-too contemporary fault lines of persecution, migration, intolerance, cultural complexity and art. Historians, curators and artists come together to discuss the life and work of artists who were persecuted by the German Nazi regime and came to the US during the first half of the 20th century, while also hearing from living artists who are facing the challenge of relocation [...]

Apr 6, 2022

Ben-Zion (1897-1987):
Man of Many Faces
Featuring Tabita Shalem and Ori Z Soltes

2022-04-06T15:57:51-04:00April 6th, 2022|, , |Comments Off on Ben-Zion (1897-1987):
Man of Many Faces
Featuring Tabita Shalem and Ori Z Soltes

Born in the Russian Empire, Ben-Zion (Benzion Weinman, 1897-1987) immigrated to New York City between the wars, arriving as a craftsman of words whose cultural Zionist convictions led him to write his poetry in Hebrew. By the early 1930s, the rise of fascism and its particularized manipulations of language drove him to despair of the power of words and to turn to visual art as a medium of expression. Endlessly creative, across the next six decades he produced a flood of drawings and oil paintings and sculptures often made by re-visioning found objects of wood, stone, and iron. As a founding member of the expressionist group, "The Ten"--that included among others a young Mark Rothko--Ben-Zion addressed social, political, and cultural [...]

Mar 28, 2022

FRITZ ASCHER SOCIETY Newsletter April 2022

2022-03-28T05:26:02-04:00March 28th, 2022|Newsletter|Comments Off on FRITZ ASCHER SOCIETY Newsletter April 2022

Dear Friends, When the artist Ben-Zion was born in 1897, his hometown Starokostiantyniv belonged to the Russian Empire. By the time he left for the United States, it belonged to the Ukraine/Poland. Today it again belongs to the Ukraine, and is brutally attacked and destroyed by the Russian army. As the casualties are mounting, we hope for peace, democracy and independence in the Ukraine. Join us on Wednesday, April 6 for a ZOOM LECTURE in our monthly series "Flight or Fight. stories of artists under repression” about the painter, printmaker, sculptor, educator, and poet: Wednesday, April 6, 12:00pm “Ben-Zion (1897-1987): Man of Many Faces” Featuring Tabita Shalem and Ori Z Soltes ) ZOOM EVENT REGISTRATION Ben-Zion, Prophet [...]

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