To Dafna Steinberg, who is the new Gallery Director at the Ann Loeb Bronfman Gallery at the Washington DC Jewish Community Center. Their next show is an exhibition of works on paper by artist Miriam Mörsel Nathan. The exhibition, curated by Steven Cushner, will be on display from September 15 through December 17, 2010, with an Opening Reception from 6:00 to 8:00 pm on September 14.
Working from pre-World War II photographs, Mörsel Nathan searches for details of family members, most of whom she has known only through photographs and stories. In working with these images, she creates hauntingly beautiful and provocative works. By piecing together fragments of information collected from family documents, notes on photographs and oral histories, Mörsel Nathan’s work reveals an elusive story of personal history and ascribed memory, acknowledging what she does not know about the people in these images.
Mörsel Nathan explains, “Only after completing these pieces was it clear to me that my way of working–making it difficult to see the images–was very much a part of the story. That’s how it is with memory, even an inherited one. It can be hard to retrieve. It is often non-linear. It can be vague or unclear or incomplete or hidden.”
The exhibition includes a series of multi-colored monotypes and screen prints based on a photograph of her aunt Greta; a wedding series of her Uncle Josef’s wedding, complemented by a video chronicling the original images from the wedding; and her version of a pre-war “family album.”
Curator Cushner says, “Miriam Mörsel Nathan has been able to take her particular experience and transform it into a language that speaks to all of us. This is the magic of all good art–to create a bridge that can connect the personal and private, with the universal and communal.”
The three-month exhibition will be accompanied by myriad of special programming, including panel discussions, film screenings, literary, musical and theatrical events. Miriam Mörsel Nathan’s work for the exhibition Memory of a time I did not know… is supported in part by funding from the Montgomery County government and the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County.