Eva Menasse’s Novel Quasikristalle:

The Blog’s Editorial Staff in Discussion (Part II)

Three editors around a table

Meeting of the website editors
© Jewish Museum Berlin, photo: Michael Butschkau

Naomi Lubrich: We recently talked together about Eva Menasse’s novel Quasicrystals but we haven’t decided which of us will write a review of the book for our blog. Personally I would be interested in doing it, and I have something to say not only about the Jewish theme but also about Menasse’s image of women, that I found to be unrealistically and ideationally drawn. Xane is a downright caricature of a “high-powered woman”: a caring mother and stepmother of three children with, to some extent, behavioral problems. And at the same time she’s a leading film artist and influential intellectual. On top of all this she has a harmonious, uncomplicated marriage, and she even gets involved with a number of other men…  continue reading


Bezalel’s Progeny

50 Jewish Artist You Should Know presents the lives and work of the most important Jewish painters, sculptors, and visual artists of the past two hundred years, as selected by the author Edward van Voolen,

family resting with packed suitcases

Maurycy Minkowski, After the Pogrom, 1910 © Prestel Verlag

curator at the Joods Historisch Museum, Amsterdam, as well as rabbi and teacher at the Abraham Geiger Kolleg, Potsdam. The book is a joy to read. The concise introduction sketches the history of Jewish art of the past three thousand years, describing major events and personalities – Bezalel, the first biblical artist, and his successors –, but avoiding the pitfall of seeking too much common ground among the artists based solely on their Jewish family backgrounds.

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David Hockney visits R.B. Kitaj’s “Obsessions”

Painting by Kitaj with David Hockney and a pink flower

R.B. Kitaj, The Neo Cubist, 1976-1987 © R.B. Kitaj Estate, Astrup Fearnley Collection, Oslo, Norway

On the 19th of October, just past 8 pm, I received the message “David is breaking away from his installation in Köln and will arrive at the Jewish Museum on Sunday 21st. between 11. – 11.30 am.”

Some time before, I had contacted the gallerist Peter Goulds to ask whether David Hockney might be interested in coming to Berlin to visit the R.B. Kitaj exhibition; I knew Hockney would be in Cologne to open his own exhibit “A Bigger Picture” at the Museum Ludwig. Though it seemed unlikely at first, Hockney was able to come. He brought his partner, his studio manager, and a chauffer, and appeared wearing an elegant grey double-breasted suit, a black Hawaii shirt with fantastic plants on it and a checked flat cap.

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