On View

September 8, 2009 – July 2, 2010

Artist’s Reception

Wednesday, October 28, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Mirta Kupferminc, born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1955, is a highly acclaimed artist who employs Magic Realism to illustrate loss and dislocation. Focusing on a personal micro cosmos with the intensity of a miniaturist, she fills her paintings with surprising juxtapositions of color, light, and perspective.

The artist’s Hungarian-born mother and Polish-born father emigrated as Holocaust survivors. There is a continuing reference in her work to their experiences of family loss, dislocation, and renewal.

Her large scale works on paper are imbued with the hidden agenda often found in the works of South American writers such as Jorge Luis Borges. These authors incorporate symbolism, metaphor, and fantasy to heighten themes of alienation and anxiety.

“Kupferminc is a student of the Kabbalah and she responds to questions of Jewish mysticism, including prophetic visions and dreams. Her exploration follows the path of Jewish survival through severe vicissitudes and finds understanding and peace in a commitment to Judaism,” says Laura Kruger, HUC-JIR Museum Curator.

“Both overtly and covertly, Kupferminc’s works allude to feelings of uprootedness, fragility, and mystery, as well as a passionate affirmation of life,” says Jean Bloch Rosensaft, HUC-JIR Museum Director. “She conveys the psychological isolation as well as the vitality of imagined figures illuminated by vivid, infernal flames or balanced on crimson-hued hands and limbs that bespeak the force of both life and death. 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. She repurposes weathered chairs with wings or anamorphic imagery to evoke alternative realities and mystical possibilities.”

In an installation created for this exhibition, “Ser Testgo/To Be a Witness,” Kupferminc has mounted a collage of more than 300 hundred images of a young man in an attitude of prayer. Referring to sudden loss and inexplicable disappearances – both during the Shoah and during the era of political repression and the “disappeared” in Argentina, Kupferminc searches for answers in her faith.

Her technique exhibits a connection to finely honed European techniques of etching and engraving. She has exhibited internationally since 1977 including Madrid, Tokyo, Paris, Munich, Washington DC, Los Angeles and New York. Her work is included, amongst others, in the permanent collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Taipei, China, the Wolfson Museum, Jerusalem, Israel, and the Contemporary Collection of the Israel Museum. Ms. Kupferminc creates and produces handmade artist books which will be included in this exhibition.

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue with essays by Jean Bloch Rosensaft and Laura Kruger.

Museum Hours

Mondays – Thursdays, 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.; Fridays, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Selected Sundays 10am – 2pm
September 13, October 11, November 8, 22, December 13, January 10, 24, February 7, March 7, April 18, May 9


Free. Photo ID required.


Katie Moscowitz, 212-824-2293: kmoscowitz@huc.edu;