"Sephardi Eyes"(Marc Salz) 2008, watercolor/gouache, 15"-14",
part of the "Genetic Moments" series.
Monday, October 6, 2008
My series of paintings titled "Genetic Moments"attempts to present elements of both the microscopic biomorphic world along with the vast macroscopic world of constellations. Even with our own problems and joys on a daily basis, the constant evolution of these parallel opposites represents the genesis of worlds beyond our own self interests.
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
"Ark"(for Baruch Spinoza),1990, oil/wood, 17"-18". Baruch Spinoza, having been excommunicated by the rabbis of Amsterdam, needed an "Ark of the Covenant" to go to. This is the best I could do. One small abstract ark(or arcs). For more on Spinoza and his philosophy, please go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baruch_Spinoza
Starting in 1987, I began a series of paintings consisting of three panels following a triptych format. These pieces were in part taking elements from early 14th century Renaissance religious panel painting. The Sienese artists at that time used either a single panel or multi panel predellas to display their narratives images. My own paintings were shapes cut out of one sheet of masonite and mounted on thick wood supports. In 1987 I had taken a trip to Holland with my family and then was interested in the roof section of the Dutch houses in Amsterdam and Haarlem. The notches on the top part of the triptich paintings grew out of this architectural detail from these sometimes narrow row houses. In addition, I was looking at the work of Russian icon painters(Andrei Rublev). The paintings received good exposure at the time and were shown in Philadelphia and New York(the Dolan Maxwell gallery and the More gallery) as well as the 1989 Chicago International Art Exposition. The last larger triptychs were in a one person show at Millersville University's art gallery in Pennsylvania and a show at University of the Arts in Philadelphia. By 1997, I felt the need to move on to other shaped formats and that change developped into the "Narrative Abstractions" and then the "Talmudic Abstractions" series in 2001.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Monday, April 21, 2008
In the nineteen twenties, my father Sam Salz became friends with the painter Chaim Soutine. Soutine was born in Smilovitchi near Minsk, Lithuania(now Belarus) and fled his Jewish Orthodox background after having violated the second Commandment by painting a portrait of a rabbi. He went to Paris and became friendly with the artists at "La Ruche" which was in the Montparnasse district. Among these artists were the painter Amedeo Modigliani and the dealer Zborovsky. My father knew them all and also became Soutine's dealer. He used to tell me that he and Soutine would meet the Russian filmaker Sergei Eisenstein("The Battleship Potemkin", "Ivan the Terrible"). One of the stories was that Soutine had wanted to make a painting of a carcass of beef and rented a hotel room to do it in. He hung the carcass in the room and painted it for days until he finished the artwork. After that he left with the painting and the side of beef stayed there, surrounded by flies and a bad smell. Those pictures are now some of his great works. You could almost say that the image of this hung piece of meat was like a secular painting of a crucifixion predicting the advent of the Holocaust. Usually after a sale, Soutine would buy a suit with the proceeds from one of his paintings. He would then paint, sleep and live in that suit until he sold another painting and bought a new one. Albert Barnes, the famous Philadelphia collector bought his work and was trying to convince him to come to America. "No one knows me there" Soutine replied and he died in the village of Touraine, as the Nazi army invaded France.
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Thursday, January 31, 2008
"Portrait of Moshe Soffer(Salz)" by Sam Salz. Sepia ink on paper. He was my father's father and my grandfather. He was a Torah scribe and an astronomer who died in the Holocaust(1941). He was shot by the Nazis and his two daughters, my aunts, died on a forced march to Bergen Belsen concentration camp. They were evacuated from their town of Radomysl in what is now Poland (Galicia). My father donated a park in Jerusalem in his memory. It is called the "Moshe Salz Garden" and is located near the Israeli government buildings and the Knesset. There is a link on this blog ("Birthplace of Sam Salz") to the Yizkor book on Radomysl. The site describes life in the town before the Nazi invasion and what happened to the victims in the camps and after the war. For another site on Radomysl Wielki go to: http://www.sztetl.org.pl/en/city/radomysl-wielki/
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Over the past few years, my shaped paintings on wood have taken on the format of the Talmud with its main central text accompanied by various side arguments made by scholars and rabbis. These paintings are not concerned with the Talmud's meaning but they do seek to relate to the way it presents debates on single aspects of Jewish law. They are abstract paintings where the written words have been transformed into contradictory colors and images. The central text has been replaced by a central wood panel with different smaller side panels. Some of those panels act in harmony with the central one while others are dissonant in their colors and shapes. I am interested in the visual interactions of these parts to the center. Many of my paintings contain images of the basic elements such as earth,water,fire, stars and embryonic forms. During the evolution of abstract painting in the twentieth century, the early abstract painters such as Piet Mondrian and Kazimir Malevich used either Christian (the cross,the icon) or Eastern (the circle, the mandala) spiritual symbols as starting points for their visual investigations. I believe that today, with all the world's contradictory views and opinions, the Talmud's presentation of differing points of view on a subject is not just an abstract symbol but a real example for contemporary life. The Talmud's format does not offer passage into a single ideal but instead presents us with the joys of argumentation and how we can still be mindful of the central way where there is hope for agreement.