Media

Art traces history of anti-Semitism

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Many of Mark Podwal's artworks wear their Jewish identities on their sleeves. Here, an ostrich wraps itself in a tallit, or Jewish prayer shawl. There, a winged menorah dances among musical notes. A Passover image shows an Egyptian pyramid made of matzo; another crafts a city's wall of tefillin, or phylacteries. A spice box, used for the havdalah service bidding farewell to the Sabbath, contains skeletons that allude to the sack of Zion in the book of Lamentations.

Preview: Art is opaque in 'Ecstasy of St. Kara'

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A Cleveland Museum of Art exhibit of 31 drawings, ranging in size from roughly a sheet of computer paper to pages that cover walls, draws upon renowned artist Kara Walker's residency at Rome's American Academy of Arts earlier this year. In much of the artist's work, what can look alluring and beautiful from across the room reveals, upon close inspection, troubling inhumanity and cruelty embedded within the picturesque. A landscape in a Walker exhibit is no postcard view; it's likely to include shockingly graphic abuse, and worse, occurring in plain sight.

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In This Issue

December 2-15, 2016

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