REUBEN KADISH: Witness

May 11 2018 to Jul 29 2018
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Reuben Kadish, Working on Bronze Hea

 

REUBEN KADISH: Witness

Reuben Kadish (1913-1992) is an American artist whose powerful sculptures, drawings, and prints are infused with a deep sense of world culture and mythology. His education and travel brought him into contact with some of the 20th century’s most influential artists, including Phillip Guston, Stanley William Hayter, Jackson Pollock, and David Alfaro Siqueiros. While he exhibited steadily throughout his lifetime, his place in art history is often relegated to who he knew, rather than what he made. 

Witness brings together a range of Kadish’s art, revealing the energetic expressionism he brought to each medium he used. Dogs, snakes, babies, and skeletons populate his exuberant drawings and large monoprints. Palm-sized figures are formed with a sense of precision and agency, displaying both human and animal parts, with shields and other paraphernalia. Larger torsos of standing or reclining women reference the Venus of Willendorf and other “earth mother” identities, each possessing a ravaged voluptuousness. Particularly striking are several large heads in terra cotta and bronze that appear to act as witnesses to, or survivors of, great personal or societal tragedies.

Kadish’s confrontational and commemorative art surely speaks to events of the past, but might be even more relevant as indicators of unpredictable and unseemly futures.

Special thanks go to Judd Tully and Regina Cherry for their help in organizing this exhibition.

images:
 Top: Reuben Kadish in his East 9th Street Studio, circa 1985. Photograph by Regina Cherry.
REUBEN KADISH: Witness exhibition

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