General Information Menu

Press contacts: Anne Scher/Alex Wittenberg
The Jewish Museum

Tuesday, April 8, 2003
*******10 am to 1 pm*******




Contemporary Art/Recent Acquisitions opens at The Jewish Museum on April 11 and remains on view through July 27, 2003. The exhibition features a lively selection of art created since 1975 and acquired by The Jewish Museum in the past two years, highlighting works of video, installation art, and photography while also including drawing, painting, and sculpture. These dramatic and thought-provoking works by such artists as Nan Goldin, William Kentridge, Nancy Spero, and Fred Wilson relate to aspects of the Jewish experience while posing questions about national and personal identity in a global age. They explore the elusive nature of memory, shifting concepts of identity, and multiple interpretations of history.

The eighteen featured artists come from Canada, Germany, Israel, and the United States, and include Sanford Biggers and Jennifer Zackin, Gloria Bornstein, AA Bronson, Elinor Carucci, Tirtza Even and Brian Karl, Omer Fast, Tomer Ganihar, Ori Gersht, Nan Goldin, Horst Hoheisel, William Kentridge, Micah Lexier, Mark Lombardi, Robert Longo, Nancy Spero, and Fred Wilson. Works that reflect upon familial relationships, youth culture, AIDS, politics, and self-identity are on view along with those responding to historical events and eras, such as post-apartheid South Africa, the Holocaust, racketeering in 1920s New York, and the anxieties and hopes embodied in the landscape of Israel.

Highlights include William Kentridge’s film projections that use the techniques of drawing, erasing and filming to dramatize the social, political and moral legacy of apartheid through his fictional Jewish protagonists; Fred Wilson’s installation of 64 photographs from the Jewish Joint Distribution Committee that the artist has cropped to show only small, intriguing fragments; Robert Longo’s Untitled (Stairs to Freud’s Apartment, 1938), a monumental charcoal drawn from his series based on photographs of Sigmund Freud’s Vienna apartment before his exile; Sanford Biggers and Jennifer Zackin’s a small world…, a dual video that juxtaposes home movies from their two families, one African American, the other Jewish; Nan Goldin’s seductive photograph Self-portrait in blue bathroom, London; and Micah Lexier’s interactive Touch to Change (Micah from Baba Sarah), in which touch-sensitive light bulbs act as a metaphor for familial intimacy. Videos by Ori Gersht exploring both the beauty and the tension on Israeli borders, and color photographs by Tomer Ganihar focusing on youth culture in contemporary Tel Aviv are also featured in the exhibition.

Contemporary art has been a primary focus of The Jewish Museum’s fine arts collecting since the 1980s. As part of this continuing process, the exhibition offers an opportunity to show how art can cross geographical, cultural, and chronological boundaries in examining the diversity of Jewish experience.

Contemporary Art/Recent Acquisitions has been organized by Karen Levitov, Assistant Curator of Fine Arts, The Jewish Museum.

A grant from The Andrea & Charles Bronfman Philanthropies and gifts in honor of Phyllis Mack made this exhibition possible.

# # #


The Jewish Museum is located at 1109 Fifth Avenue at 92nd Street, Manhattan. Museum hours are: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, 11 am to 5:45 pm; Thursday, 11 am to 8 pm; Friday 11 am to 3 pm. Closed Saturday. Museum admission is $10 adults; $7.50 students and senior citizens; free admission for children under 12. On Thursday evenings from 5 to 8 pm admission is pay what you wish. For general information, the public may call 212.423.3200, or information can be obtained by visiting The Jewish Museum's Web site at