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Lynne Avadenka: Aftermath

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Monday, September 1, 2003

An artist’s response to September 11

Lynne Avadenka, "Bodies III,"
in "Lynne Avadenka: Aftermath"

Hebrew Union College- Jewish Institute of Religion Museum
One West 4th Street (between Broadway and Mercer Street), Manhattan
September 2, 2003 – January 25, 2004
Artist’s Reception: November 6, 2003, 6-8 pm

Lynne Avadenka: Aftermath, an exhibition of works on paper in response to the tragedy of September 11, 2001, will be on view at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Museum from September 2, 2003 through January 25, 2004. This exhibition, curated by Laura Kruger, is comprised of works that incorporate text and images in an exploration of the combined power of these two elements. Through the fusion of shapes and letters, the artist presents an abstract depiction of the emotions that are inextricably linked to the destruction of the World Trade Center.

Each work employs a wide variety of techniques, including letterpress printing, collage, stencils, hand-drawn elements in graphite and colored pencil, and relief printing from wood. The sources of the text include the words of Sir Isaac Newton, “bodies in motion stay in motion, bodies at rest stay at rest” as well as a Biblical reference excerpted from Jacob’s dream, “There was a stairway and it reached the sky and there were people going up and down it.” These phrases are densely imprinted, reminiscent of the violent collision of the moving and the static, and the feeling of utter shock and confusion that the memory of that day evokes. The elliptical and organic shapes fused with the text dually suggest the controlled patterns of celestial movement as well as the incontrollable nature of velocity.

In his essay on this body of work, Vincent Carducci writes:

“While the series is motivated by the events of September 11, it actually continues Avadenka’s long standing concern with the idea of loss. To be sure, September 11 was an emphatic reminder of the absolute contingency of things, how conspicuously and irrevocably susceptible to loss we are, both as individuals and as a community. But Avadenka’s work reminds us that we live always in the shadow of death, which can come at any time.”

“As an educational and cultural institution in the downtown community of New York, we are committed to remembering the tragic human losses of September 11th,” notes Jean Rosensaft, Museum Director. “Lynne Avadenka’s sensitive works, begun immediately as a consequence of this tragedy, represent her personal journey of mourning and remembrance. In presenting this exhibition, we demonstrate the important role artists can play as transmitters of memory and healing.”

Avadenka’s work is exhibited in the permanent collections of The Library of Congress Washington D.C.; The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel; The New York Public Library, New York, New York; and The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago Illinois. She has exhibited her work at the Center for Book Arts in New York City, The Detroit Institute of Arts and the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York City among others.

Avadenka has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, and the Women’s Studio Workshop. In 1998 she was awarded the first Maas Prize, established to honor excellence in the arts and humanities in Jewish life. She is currently an instructor at The College for Creative Studies in Detroit.

Hours: Mondays- Thursdays, 9 am – 5 pm; Fridays, 9 am – 3 pm
Selected Sundays, 10 am – 2 pm: Sept. 14; Oct. 19; Nov. 2, 23; Dec. 14; Jan. 11, 25

Admission: Free. Photo ID required for entrance.

Curated tours for reporters/editors, group tours, and additional information:
(212) 824-2205

Images available by request.

Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's leading institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, museums, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding.