This spring, the Skirball Museum at Cincinnati’s Hebrew Union College will host two new exhibits for public viewing.
Frank Stella: Had Gadya – Frank Stella (b. 1936), the American painter, sculptor, and printmaker noted for his work in the areas of minimalism and post-painterly abstraction, was inspired by a lyrical poem that concludes the traditional Seder, or festive meal, on the Jewish holiday of Passover. Had Gadya (One Little Goat) is one of the earliest recorded children’s songs. Each verse builds on one before it, just as Stella builds on an original 1919 print series by Russian-Jewish avante-garde artist El Lissitzky (1890-1941). Lissitzky, who began his career illustrating Yiddish children’s books, created a print for each stanza of the famous song. Stella encountered these works in 1981 in the Tel Aviv Museum and was profoundly inspired by their movement and vibrancy. A portfolio of the El Lissitzky prints from the Klau Library of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) will be on display along with the Stella prints beginning Thursday, March 23 at 5:30 pm at an opening in Mayerson Hall on the HUC-JIR campus, 3101 Clifton Avenue.
Stella’s large Had Gadya prints use a combination of techniques—lithography, linoleum block, silkscreen, and rubber relief with collage elements and hand-coloring. Learn more at a lecture by exhibition curator Anne Hromadka Greenwald on Thursday, April 13 at 4:30 p.m. and at a lunch-and-learn with Skirball director Abby Schwartz on May 9 at 12 noon. A multi-media virtual presentation with cantorial student Ella Gladstone Martin, who has researched the music of Passover and musical settings of Had Gadya, will take place on June 7 at 7 p.m. Watch the program from home or in the room with the Stella prints.
Beyond Borders: The Art of Siona Benjamin – For almost two decades, Benjamin has been making vibrantly hued intricately detailed transnational art that contemplates immigration, gender, the concept of ‘home’, and the role of art in social change. Descended from the Bene Israel Jewish community whose lore dates them in Asia for 2000 years, her artistic perspective is distinct and unusual. An artist’s reception will take place at the Skirball on Thursday, April 20 at 5:30 p.m.