“Pole, Jew, Artist: Identity and Avant-Garde”

Muzeum Sztuki | MS2

Summing up the experience of the Jewish pioneers of modernism, the artist Henryk Gotlib observed in 1932: “It is not important what Jews became for painting but what painting became for the Jews.” Without claiming to be a survey of art produced by Jewish artists in Warsaw, Lodz, Krakow, Lvov, and Vilna during the interwar period, this fascinating exhibition focused on a number of individuals who defined modernism in the local context, while situating their works in relation to a broader international art scene. Stressing the avant-garde aspects of pieces in various media, the show—superbly curated by Jarosław Suchan and the late Joanna Ritt—avoided presenting the artists either as exotic or eccentric, or labeling them solely on the basis of ethnicity.

The Young Yiddish group—a loose fraternity of Expressionist writers and artists from Lodz named after an art review published in Yiddish in

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