By Carol Pulin, Director of Print Alliance, Contemporary Impressions
Mirta Kupferminc: Wanderings 1999-2009 shows at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York City until July 2, 2010. Born in Buenos Aires, the daughter of Holocaust survivors, Kupferminc’s work refers to their experiences of family loss and dislocation, and the capacity for survival and renewal. In her search for answers to a legacy of such trauma—both during the Shoah of her parents’ generation and during the era of political repression and the “disappeared” in the Argentina of her own time—Kupferminc often turns to the prophetic visions and dreams in Jewish mysticism of the Kabbalah and to magic realism in the writings of Jorge Luis Borges.
“Kupferminc’s works allude to feelings of uprootedness, fragility and mystery, as well as a passionate affirmation of life,” says Jean Bloch Rosensaft. “She manipulates the artifacts of childhood and of Jewish tradition to serve as memorials to a vanished past, or to celebrate the transcendence of a heritage.”
The accompanying catalogue’s short essays offer helpful insights into Kupferminc’s art and life by several writers. The illustrations, mostly full page, capture the rich blacks and intense reds of so many of her prints and the crisply etched details of the myriad small figures that, mourning or rejoicing, trudge or dance around her visionary figures. In the most recent work, texts are densely layered over dramatic portraits. If you cannot go to see these haunting, exquisite prints in person, at least get the catalogue.
Mirta Kupferminc: Wanderings 1999-2009. Essays by Jean Bloch Rosensaft, Laura Kruger, et al., texts in Spanish and English. Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, New York, 2009. ISBN 1-884300-17-0. Paperback, 11x8.5’’, 76pp., 38 color illus, 17 b&w.