American Jewish Museum
The Circus of Life: Work by Susan Winicour
January 11—March 28, 2014
Berger Gallery ∙ Robinson building
Opening reception, circus performance and silent auction Saturday, January 11, 2014 ∙ 6–8pm
Zany Umbrella Circus performance Saturday, January 11, 2014 ∙ 7:15–8pm
The Circus of Life: Work by Susan Winicour (1939-2013) includes key paintings and works on paper representing Winicour’s prolific output and focuses on work that while lively, depicts the pathos of the complexities of human interactions and relationships. The figures in her work often convey a paradoxical sense of enjoyment and detachment. They cavort, entertain, and perform with theatricality for audiences as well as for one another. Yet, many of her compositions possess edgy qualities that hint toward tension and unease. With virtuosic skill, Winicour mines a wide variety of influences from German Expressionism to ordinary visual vernacular.
Work by Susan Winicour will be for sale in a silent auction during the opening reception and for the exhibit’s duration. Additional work can be purchased at winicour.com. Ms. Winicour’s family is generously donating sale proceeds to the AJM.
Visit Winicour.com to see more of the artist’s work.
Ben Sota, creator of Pittsburgh’s famed Zany Umbrella Circus, will perform a piece inspired by Winicour’s work at the opening reception. Bringing Winicour’s imagery to life, Sota’s show uses circus, theatre, and puppetry, and is appropriate for people of all ages. Extraordinary and intrepid in their approach to the circus, the Zany Umbrella Circus awes and delights; entertainer Wavy Gravy sums them up candidly: “His [Ben Sota, of the Zany Umbrella Circus] performances on the Trapeze and Spanish Web are so imaginative and breathtaking they must be seen to be believed.” A successful troupe with international acclaim, the Zany Umbrella Circus conducted a circus performance in 2005 at the White House Congressional Picnic. For more information visit zanyumbrellacircus.com
Light Your Spark tours for people with memory loss and their care partners are available the third Thursday of every month from 1:30–2:30 pm or by special arrangement.
Docent tours are available for small or large groups.
Events are free and open to the public, but pre-registration is required.
Call 412.521.8011, ext. 105, for more information.
Supporters/funders to date for The Circus of Life: Work by Susan Winicour include: Zivi Aviraz, Sara and Ahmie Baum, Kathi De Passe, Joan Downing, Frances Gialamas, Myra and Fred Feldman, Leslie Golomb and Ronald Hartman, Adrienne and Ted Heinrich, Alice and Norman Jaffe, Jane and Bud Kahn, Judy Koppel, Lisa Laskow, Helen Naimark, Ellen Chisdes Neuberg, Susan Pollins, Aline Shader, Phiris Sickels, Huvvy and Meyer Simon, Francine and Dirk Vandenberg, Karen Vanderven, Edris and David Weis, and Kathleen Zimbicki. Major funding for the American Jewish Museum is provided by the Allegheny Regional Asset Board, the Anna L. Caplan & Irene V. Caplan Fund of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, the Robert C. and Gene B. Dickman Fund, Ira and Nanette Gordon Curator Enrichment Fund, Edward N. and Jane Haskell Endowment Creative Projects Fund, the Nancy Bernstein and Robert Schoen Endowment Fund, Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts, and individual support. Light Your Spark support is provided by The Hyman Family Foundation.
January 27–April 25, 2014
Micaela Amateau Amato: Cante Jondo for Tikkun Olam
THE ANNA L. AND IRENE V. CAPLAN EXHIBIT
Fine Perlow Weis Gallery ∙ Kaufmann Building
Micaela Amateau Amato's glass sculptures, neon installations and work on paper synthesizes her Sephardic history with significant historical and societal issues including identity, ethnicity, migration and cultural hybridity.
An artist with multiple origins, she adeptly infuses diverse visual traditions into the form and content of her works. Moroccan Cousin, for example (pictured) is made of glass; for Amato this medium summons similarities to ancient Mediterranean mosaics to which she feels connected. Further, as explained by art historian Robert Mattison, Moroccan Cousin's characteristics and form resemble third century Faiyum (mummy) portraits that were attached to Egyptian mummies to cover their faces. For Amato, these images conjure family resemblance and sentiments of familiarity. Although imbued with deeply personal referents, Amato examines tolerance, prejudice, and coexistence, making her work coalesce the personal with universal issues. Amato describes her work poignantly: "A metaphor for convivencia, a cultural collaboration of diverse religions and ethnicities in Spain before the Inquisition, my cross-media work celebrates hybridity and calls for a reconciliation of Moslems, Jews, Christians and all other religions in the 21st century."
Evoking Amato's longing for the repair of cultural dissonance the exhibition title synchronizes her Spanish and Jewish heritage. A mournful form of Flamenco music communicating yearning for the release from the pain of everyday life, Conte Jondo, which means deep song, stems from Sephardic, Muslim and Gypsy origins. Amato summons Tikkun Olam for consideration of repairing broken links between cultures.
American Jewish Museum Partners
Please visit the web sites of the organizations that generously support the American Jewish Museum and its exhibitions.
General support for the American Jewish Museum is provided by the Allegheny Regional Asset District, the Anna L. Caplan & Irene V. Caplan Philanthropic Fund of the United Jewish Federation Foundation, the Jewish Healthcare Foundation and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Media sponsorship is provided by WDUQ 90.5 FM.