The first of several critiques from the celebrated Jewish artist and writer Richard McBee for The Jewish Press.

“Some people may believe Jewish Art is a simple endeavor. All you need is a Jew who makes art and voila, Jewish Art! I say to these cultural determinists, not so fast. You think Jewishness flows in the blood like chicken soup. Too often, we have seen Jews produce politics, literature and art that are far removed from Jewish values. As with anything else of importance, we must examine exactly what constitutes a work of art and what meaning is transmitted. Simply stated, Jewish Art must start with Jewish subject matter and must express Jewish content.

Lynn Russell’s paintings are the embodiment of Jewish subject matter and content in ways that may not be as obvious as they first seem.

Many of the features of Russell’s paintings are sharp and detailed while other objects blur out of focus. The artist has pushed and shaped what was originally a slice of life photograph into a significant event that through careful compositions and selection attains a larger meaning. This technique has parallels in Gerhard Richter’s photo paintings at the Museum of Modern Art”.

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