JEWISH ART GALLERY
The Jewish Art Gallery is dedicated to exhibiting contemporary art by Jewish artists and celebrating Jewish culture, identity and history.
It is located at our Community Centre at 36 Upper Street.
Rafael Klein — 'A Wanderer'
Opening / artist talk & book launch event - RSVP is required:
Thursday 03 June 2021, 19:30 - 21:30
Exhibition continues 21 May - 4 June 2021
Monday - Thursday 11:00 - 17:00
Friday 09:30 - 14:00
Chabad Islington Jewish Community Centre & Art Gallery
36 Upper Street
The Angel, London N1 0PN
‘A Wanderer’ is the second exhibition of the shul and gallery space at 36 Upper Street in Angel. The establishment of 36 Upper Street is particularly significant, given that Islington has not had a synagogue in over 50 years. The establishment of a rotating gallery in the same space as the congregation is also of great significance. Alongside the debut of Rafael Klein’s new body of work, the gallery is currently exhibiting work by London-based Jewish artists David Hochhauser and Beverley-Jane Stewart.
Curated by Nicole Zisman
“In my family, nobody every talked about the old country. My grandmother left Poland at the turn of the 20th century. She never spoke about what happened to the family she left behind. I knew my father’s family came from Austria. But when I asked him he said, “I don’t know what city – they didn’t talk about that.”
This year, whilst living in lockdown, Klein began to research what might have become of these family members. He set himself the task of learning what it was like when Jews hid in forests, in attics, in holes in the ground. This exhibition centres on the result — A Wanderer, Klein’s new hand-printed, limited edition artists’ book. The 100 signed copies are printed on fine quality Somerset paper with pop-ups, and hand-bound in a hard cover. Klein presents this tactile work together with large scale interactive panels that open to reveal the Jews hiding — in the artist’s own words, “making us all complicit in their fates.” He will launch the work as live event (as he has done at the British Library and other venues) with a reading, a screening of his related short film, and an artists’ talk at 36 Upper Street.
Rafael Klein, also known as Randy Klein, was born in Brooklyn and now lives and works in London. His art spans across media – from sculpture to painting graphics and artists’ books, but it consistently explores a narrative. This narrative often is carried out in a modularity of work – many small works which lead to one large story. Most recently, this tendency of Klein’s can be seen in the 120 sculptures of Moment to Moment, a touring exhibition which traveled to three venues in Italy, before touring cathedrals in the UK.
Klein’s sculpture carries its physical weight lightly, forming a dialogue between the plastic nature of 3 dimensional work and a flowing spirituality. This is evident in the works which make up the Dante series, exhibited widely. He has created a large number of sculptures for the public realm, including the ASPIRE sculpture for the historic home of the Employment Academy, the Angel of Poetry for the Biblioteca Classense in Ravenna, as well as many sculptures for parks and schools in the UK. Sometimes the modular flow questions the nature of sculpture itself, making sculptural letters and words which form a ‘rebus’ of meaning.
His limited edition artist books can be found in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art New York, Tate, V&A, the British Library, the New York Public Library, and the Brooklyn Museum among many others.
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