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Press Contacts: Anne Scher/Alex Wittenberg, 212.423.3271,



New York, NY – In conjunction with the new exhibition, Izhar Patkin: The Messiah’s glAss, The Jewish Museum is presenting four programs in September and October. Highlights include a discussion with Izhar Patkin in the Museum’s galleries on Thursday, September 27; and screenings of French director Nurith Aviv’s trilogy of films about the Hebrew language, From One Language to Another, on Thursdays, September 27, October 11 and October 18. These programs are free with museum admission.

For further information regarding programs at The Jewish Museum, the public may call 212.423.3200, or visit the Museum’s website at


Thursday, September 27
6:30 pm

Artist Izhar Patkin will speak about his work, currently on view in Izhar Patkin: The Messiah’s glAss. He will connect his art and themes to the new exhibition, Crossing Borders: Manuscripts from the Bodleian Libraries. This program is the first in The Jewish Museum’s new series, Writers and Artists Respond, featuring thought-provoking discussions and performances led by artists, musicians and writers in the Museum’s galleries.

Izhar Patkin was born in Israel in 1955 and has lived in the United States since 1977. He gained recognition in the mid-1980s with The Black Paintings, done in white ink on black rubber curtains. These were an inventive visual adaptation of Jean Genet’s play The Blacks: A Clown Show. His work has been collected in depth by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; the Museum of Modern Art; the Whitney Museum of American Art; the Tel Aviv Museum of Art; the Open Museum, Tefen; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and many other prominent institutions. He has exhibited extensively worldwide. The artist’s major mid-career museum survey, The Wandering Veil, is currently on view at the Tel Aviv Museum and at The Open Museum in Tefen, northern Israel. The show will travel to MASS MoCA in 2013.

Tickets: FREE with Museum admission. Stools will be provided on a first come, first served basis.

Film Series

In Israeli-born French filmmaker Nurith Aviv’s documentary trilogy, From One Language to Another, writers, poets, artists and translators from various countries and ethnic backgrounds examine the relationship between their native languages and Hebrew, and between different levels within Hebrew itself.

Nurith Aviv is the first woman to be recognized as a Director of Photography by the Centre national de la cinématographie (National Center of Cinematography) in France. She has worked on over 100 films, both fiction and documentaries, collaborating with such filmmakers as Agnès Varda, Réné Allio and Amos Gitai, and has directed ten documentaries of her own. A retrospective of her films was shown in the Jeu de Paume Museum in Paris in 2008.

Thursday, September 27
4 pm
(2011, 70 minutes), the third part of the trilogy, is receiving its United States premiere. The film explores the challenges that face translators who work to bring Hebrew texts to the rest of the world. The translators discuss the challenges they face in bringing works of ancient, medieval and contemporary Hebrew literature to other audiences. Nurith Aviv will introduce the film, and participate in a Q&A with artist Izhar Patkin following this screening.

Thursday, October 11
11:30 am
In From Language to Language
(2004, 52 minutes), the first part of the trilogy, foreign-born Israeli poets, writers and artists discuss the difficult relationship between their mother tongues and their acquired Hebrew. As acclaimed author Aharon Appelfeld says, “I am still afraid that I might lose this language. Sometimes I wake up with the fear that my Hebrew, learned at great pains, would fade away and vanish. I want to catch it and I can’t.” From Language to Language was awarded the Best Film Prize at the DocAviv International Documentary Film Festival in 2004.

Thursday, October 18
11:30 am
Sacred Language, Spoken Language
(2008, 73 minutes), the second part of the trilogy, explores the dual nature of Hebrew as a sacred tongue, a written language of prayer and scripture, and a language of everyday life in Israel. Israeli-born writers and poets speak about the tensions between the different levels and layers within Hebrew, from the poetic and the political to the religious and the secular.

Izhar Patkin: The Messiah’s glAss, on view through November 11, 2012, is the first in a new series presenting works by artists in all media, as well as installations of art and artifacts from the Museum's collection. With The Messiah’s glAss, Izhar Patkin frames two central narratives that serve as metaphors for each other. His innovative techniques and mastery as a visual narrator are brought to bear on these avenues of exploration. “One is the vanishing physicality of the image in our age of virtual transmission; the other is the diminishing weight of secular Zionism in contemporary Israel,” Patkin explained. “The vaporous images in the scenic veil paintings have the weightlessness of a cinematic projected image. The promise of the canvas and the promise of the land are ghosts,” Patkin added. The exhibition consists of two major works. The first is You Tell Us What To Do Act III, a painting for four walls on pleated illusion (tulle) veils that envelop the entire perimeter of the gallery like a continuous mural. The other is a 12-foot tall clear glass sculpture titled The Messiah’s glass, a figurative tour de force produced at the Centre International de Recherche Sur le Verre et les Arts Plastiques (CIRVA), Marseille, over a five year period from 2003 to 2007. Both the emblematic, transparent sculpture and the images in the translucent painting seem suspended like ghosts between appearance and disappearance, challenging conventions of art history.

England’s Bodleian Library at Oxford University, established by Sir Thomas Bodley in 1602 and now the largest of the University’s group of ‘Bodleian Libraries’, is renowned for its great treasures. Among them is one of the most important collections of medieval Hebrew illuminated manuscripts in the world. The Jewish Museum is presenting Crossing Borders: Manuscripts from the Bodleian Libraries through February 3, 2013. This exhibition features over 60 works – Hebrew, Arabic, and Latin manuscripts – the majority of which have never been seen in the United States. Several paintings and printed books are also on view. Included is the splendid Kennicott Bible, the most lavishly illuminated Hebrew Bible to survive from medieval Spain, as well as two works in the hand of Maimonides, one of the most prominent Jewish philosophers and rabbinic authorities. This exhibition is based on Crossing Borders: Hebrew Manuscripts as a Meeting-place of Cultures co-curated by Piet van Boxel and Sabine Arndt for The Bodleian Library. The New York City presentation has been organized by The Jewish Museum’s Curator Claudia Nahson.

An infrared assistive listening system for the hearing impaired is available for programs in the Museum's S. H. and Helen R. Scheuer Auditorium.

Public Programs at The Jewish Museum are supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. Major annual support is provided by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. The stage lighting system has been funded by the Office of Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer.

About The Jewish Museum

Widely admired for its exhibitions and collections that inspire people of all backgrounds, The Jewish Museum is one of the world’s preeminent institutions devoted to exploring the intersection of art and Jewish culture from ancient to modern times. The Jewish Museum organizes a diverse schedule of internationally acclaimed and award-winning temporary exhibitions as well as dynamic and engaging programs for families, adults, and school groups. The Museum was established in 1904, when Judge Mayer Sulzberger donated 26 ceremonial art objects to The Jewish Theological Seminary of America as the core of a museum collection. Today, the Museum maintains a collection of 26,000 objects – paintings, sculpture, works on paper, photographs, archaeological artifacts, ceremonial objects, and broadcast media.

The Jewish Museum is located at 1109 Fifth Avenue at 92nd Street, New York City. Museum hours are Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, 11am to 5:45pm; Thursday, 11am to 8pm; and Friday, 11am to 4pm. Museum admission is $12.00 for adults, $10.00 for senior citizens, $7.50 for students, free for children under 12 and Jewish Museum members. Admission is free on Saturdays. For information on The Jewish Museum, the public may call 212.423.3200 or visit the website at

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