Lasar Segall

The Jewish Museum

In 1920, the Expressionist poet and critic Theodor Däubler contrasted the Egyptians, children of the sun, to the Israelites, whose migrations and adaptations he likened to the constantly changing appearance of the moon. Däubler cited this Jewish “racial character” as central to the work of Lasar Segall, as curator Stephanie D’Alessandro notes in the catalogue that accompanied the show. “Still More Distant Journeys: The Artistic Emigrations of Lasar Segall,” the painter's first major retrospective in this country, reevaluated his oeuvre within the various cultural contexts that informed it. Segall was deeply influenced by what he took to be his roots—religious, geographic, and ethnic. As the subtitle suggests, however, the exhibition reflects Segall’s equally far-reaching stylistic perambulations, which tend to dilute our sense of who he was as an artist. Keenly aware of the dilemma facing

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