Slifka Center Exhibits "Luminous" Paintings

“Painted on Earth,” an exhibition of 23 works by contemporary artist David Newman, will be on view through Friday, Dec. 19, at the Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish Life at Yale, 80 Wall St.

The paintings in the exhibit represent two very different periods in the artist’s career. From his early years there are 10 black-and-white images that focus on sacred texts and their interpretation. These artworks – which incorporate images from antiquity, the Renaissance and the modern era – have been cited by critics for their “ferocious intensity” and “considerable wit.”

In an essay on the artist, Geoffrey Hartman, Sterling Professor of English and Comparative Literature, wrote: “David Newman has added ominousness to beauty in representing biblical texts. His color-bleached pictures express not only wonder at the Hebrew Bible but also the strangeness, or estrangement, of that book.”

“Painted on Earth” also includes 13 recent works by the artist. These brightly colored, luminous paintings combine images of the earth as seen from outer space, Renaissance architecture, Indonesian temple art, fetuses in utero and other elements of the natural world. In the catalogue for the exhibition, David G. Roskies, professor of Jewish literature at the Jewish Theological Seminary, notes that the works possess “a surrealistic disquiet,” but “capture ecstatic and playful moments” and create “an elusive place which delights in being protean. To see so many worlds … is to be filled with a sense of exuberance.”

Mr. Newman will be the featured guest at a reception at the Slifka Center 5:30-7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 4. He will also be on hand for an artist-in-residence program, noon-4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 9, and will present a gallery talk at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 7. These events are free and open to the public.

The Slifka Center’s gallery hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday.

The Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish Life at Yale is home to Yale Hillel and Young Israel House at Yale. Offering religious, cultural, intellectual and social programming, concerts, art exhibits and holiday celebrations, the Slifka Center is open to Yale students, faculty and staff, as well as to the Greater New Haven community.

For information about the exhibit or the Slifka Center, call 432-1134.

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Media Contact

Gila Reinstein:, 203-432-1325