The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Tuesday, September 2, 2014


Of Life and Loss: The Polish Photographs of Roman Vishniac and Jeffrey Gusky Opens
SANTA BARBARA.- Of Life and Loss: The Polish Photographs of Roman Vishniac and Jeffrey Gusky is organized by the Santa Barbara Museum of Art and features 45 photographs by Roman Vishniac, made in Poland’s Jewish communities in the mid-1930s, and an equal number of images by Jeffery Gusky, taken six decades later in many of the same areas.

Roman Vishniac, a Russian-born Jew, photographed some of the Jewish communities of Central and Eastern Europe before the conflagration of the 1930s and 40. Prompted by a commission of the American Joint Distribution Committee, Vishniac took over 16,000 photographs (2,000 of which survived the war) over a three-year period. His poignant works feature vibrant communities filled with life: men, women and children in their homes and schools, at their trades and in their streets, markets, and temples.

Six decades later, Jeffrey Gusky, a fine art photographer and rural emergency physician from Texas, traveled to Poland to photograph the ruins of these long-destroyed communities. Gusky's photographs were motivated by his personal feelings of horror, experienced five years before 9/11 while traveling in Poland, that mass destruction could happen again in modern times.

Examining each photographer separately, Vishniac and Gusky have very distinctive photographic styles. Due to the nature of his project and the ever-escalating semblance of anti-semitism, Vishniac’s photographs are less polished and more emotionally raw in an attempt to tell the stories of people’s individual lives. By contrast, Gusky finds inspiration in the physical places which made up the world of now entirely absent communities of Jews.
While each photographer had an individual style and statement to make, it is both the relationship with and stark difference between the two that provides the greatest emotional poignancy. The exhibition pairs many Vishniac and Gusky photographs, illuminating the individual lives lost, culture destroyed, and environments degraded by decades of neglect in Poland, as Gusky photographed the desecrated cemeteries, crumbling synagogues, and empty streets that served as the backdrop for Vishniac’s scenes of mid-century Jewish life.

There are also several points of convergence in the biographies of Vishniac and Gusky. Like Vishniac, Gusky is of Russian Jewish descent, and both men were compelled to their photographic projects in part by personal reasons springing from their Jewish heritage. The photographers also have professional ties to biological science which embody their work through illustration of the fragility of human life.

Roman Vishniac - Born in Russia, Roman Vishniac lived in Berlin with his family during the 1930s. As Hitler’s rhetoric more aggressively targeted the Jewish population of Germany and broader Eastern Europe, Vishniac picked up his camera and traveled across the region photographing a spectrum of human life in Jewish shtetlach (towns) and the ghettos, including oppressed Jewish children cautiously at play, laborers without work, and elderly lacking adequate care.

Vishniac was a scientist who used microphotographic techniques in his research studies. Surrounded by the vibrant artistic culture of Berlin, Vishniac did not experiment with the aesthetic techniques of current European photography. Instead, he captured the individual humanity of the Jewish communities between 1935 and 1939.

Jeffrey Gusky - In the late 1990s, Jeffrey Gusky traveled to Eastern Europe in an effort to make sense of his personal Jewish identity. Gusky captured the melancholic beauty of the austere landscapes of former Jewish communities on four journeys through Poland. In his first attempt at fine art photography, Gusky produced haunting black and white photographs of architectural remains, places that have been silenced for over fifty years.

Gusky was inspired to his project by American cultural representations of the persecution of Jews under the German Nazi regime, such as the film Schindler’s List; however, his photographs differ in scope and effect from contemporary cinematic efforts to increase knowledge about the fate of Eastern European Jews. Instead, Gusky’s cold, desolate images evoke feelings of mystery accompanied by the finality of the loss.



Today's News

October 25, 2008

Diana and Actaeon. The Forbidden Glimpse of the Naked Body Opens in Dusseldorf

Two Magnificent Masterpieces By Canaletto To Be Offered For Sale For the First Time at Christie's

The Royal Academy of Arts Presents Byzantium 330-1453

World's Third Largest Cut Diamond Comes to the ROM As Part of The Nature of Diamonds

Paul Klee: Melody / Rhythm / Dance at Museum der Moderne Salzburg

Ten Contemporary Artists Invited By The Guggenheim

The Vancouver Art Gallery Presents Jeff Wall - Vancouver Art Gallery Collection

MCA Chicago Presents Jenny Holzer: Protect Protect Exhibition

De Young Museum Presents Asian/American/Modern Art: Shifting Currents, 1900-1970

The 2008 Sovereign European Art Prize - Winner Announced

The Spencer Art Museum Presents Toy Stories: Souvenirs from Korean Childhood

Long May She Wave: A Graphic History of the American Flag

Queensland Art Gallery Celebrates Artist Eugene Carchesio

Of Life and Loss: The Polish Photographs of Roman Vishniac and Jeffrey Gusky Opens

Nevada Museum of Art Presents Long May She Wave: A Graphic History of the American Flag

Joslyn Art Museum Showcases Paintings and Drawings By Famed Mexican Artist Diego Rivera

Egypt - Back to the Source at the Glyptotek in Copenhagen

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Neanderthals and humans were both living in Europe for between 2,600 and 5,400 years

2.- First major exhibition to explore the historical legacy of African cultural astronomy opens at LACMA

3.- Carlo Mollino's idealized vision of the female form in new book published by Damiani/Crump

4.- Tate Britain displays works by Frank Auerbach from the collection of Lucian Freud

5.- In grave robber territory, locals abuzz over Alexander-era tomb; Largest of its kind ever discovered in Greece

6.- Lambert Collection opens an ambitious project housed at the Sainte-Anne Prison

7.- Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore announces the first 18 artists in the CCA Residencies progamme

8.- Historic Kings Theatre is transformed into major New York Performing Arts venue

9.- Thirteen's American Masters Series co-produces new documentary about photographer Dorothea Lange

10.- Sotheby's New York to offer 548 Edward Weston photographs as a single lot this September

Related Stories



Important Judaica and Israeli & international art bring a combined $7.9 million at Sotheby's New York

Tunisia to auction ousted despot's treasures

Andy Warhol's Mao portraits excluded from the Beijing and Shanghai shows next year

China criticises French Qing dynasty seal auction

Christie's announces auction marking the first half century of the popular and luxurious interiors shop Guinevere

Nine new exhibits debut at San Diego International Airport

Rembrandt masterpiece "Portrait of Catrina Hooghsaet" back on display at National Museum Cardiff

Amber: 40-million-year-old fossilised tree resin is Baltic gold

Egyptian artist Iman Issa wins the Ist FHN Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona Award

The main chapel of the Basilica of Santa Croce open for visits after five year restoration



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site