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Art of the Hewbrew Alphabet - 11 Iconic Influences


Homage to Adolf Gottlieb (1903-1974)


“When I saw Gottlieb’s pictographs, I felt I had discovered a kindred soul. His imagery, philosophy and style made him the perfect artist for my astrological representation of letters using Celestial script.” Lynn Rae


PICTOGRAPHS. Gottlieb radically changed his approach to painting while living in Tucson’s desert in 1937-38. He used universal symbols that transcended time, place, and language to appeal to the level of the unconscious mind and to offer a pathway of release from a trouble-ridden period in history.


“He wanted his art to have the same impact on all his viewers, striking a chord not because they had seen it before, but because it was so basic and elemental that it resounded within them.”  Julio Gonzalez


Homage to Mark Rothko (1903-1970)


“I selected Rothko to hide the letters in the color field to see if you, the viewer, can evoke any meaning when looking at the paintings.  He advocated standing 18 feet away but since these panels are so small, I advise you stand 18” away.” Lynn Rae


ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONISM/COLOR FIELD.  Freud, Jung and collective unconsciousness archetypes influenced Rothko. Nietzsche influenced his artistic goal of relieving modern man’s spiritual emptiness. Rothko wanted maximum interpretation without hindrance. Luminous colored rectangles were used as simplified means evoking emotional responses.


“I'm not an abstractionist. I'm not interested in the relationship of color or form or anything else. I'm interested only in expressing basic human emotions: tragedy, ecstasy, doom, and so on.” Mark Rothko



Homage to Ida Kohlmeyer (1912-1997)


“I selected a feminine and soft cursive font for Ida. Since she used the title “Symbols” for many of her paintings, it seemed fitting she would represent traditional glyphs associated with the aleph-bet. “ Lynn Rae


ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONIST. Ida’s enduring interest in the native arts began on her honeymoon. She was a traditional Southern housewife, taking her first class only after her second child was in school. She found herself astonished and moved by the spiritual aspect of painting. Influenced by Miro and his informal grid-like style.


“I’ve experienced an elevation of spirit, almost a mystical happening, where I am not doing the painting. It evolves under its own mysterious power. This exquisite state of being simulates a religious experience.” Ida Kohlmeyer


Homage to Louise Nevelson (1899-1988)


“Certainly as a woman sculptor I feel connected to Louise, but I was thrilled when I realized she also studied metaphysics. I admire her strength and determination to begin again and again to achieve her goal of following her soul’s heart desire.” Lynn Rae


ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONISM. Louise was a sculptor of monumental, monochromatic, wall pieces and outdoor sculptures. Her wood collages can be described as a process starting with singular objects turning them into complex parts, which collectively create the whole experience. This echoes how individual letters create words.


“If you study metaphysics you’ll see that we can get out of ourselves. And maybe there is a bit of danger– So what? You have to have the courage to try. What would you do with life if you didn’t risk it?” L. Nevelson


Homage to Jules Olitski (1922-2007)


COLOR FIELD: Olitski excelled in the Color Field School of Art.  He stained and sprayed pure color, as I do with my Aluminations®. Creating a clock allowed me to incorporate color with numbers to illustrate that Israeli clocks still use letters for the hours, to this day. Gematria is the same concept of letters having numerical value. Aleph to Yud represent 1 to 10; Chaf to Tzadi = 20 to 90;  Kuf to Tav = 100 to 400. The numbers are figured in the same way Roman numerals are combined, as IV equals 4 or LXX equals 70.


"Color in color is felt at any and every place of the pictorial organization; in its immediacy - its particularity. Color must be felt throughout." Jules Olitski


Homage to Morris Louis


When I created Flack’s vibrantly colored aleph-bet of pencils, I realized I had to do the nikudot– the vowels– as educational tools, companion pieces. I found Morris Louis, who held his large paintings learning to control the flow and stain of rivulets of color. This created an image of a funnel like vessel holding the vowels and complemented Flack while both held their own styles. My Aluminations® are created in the same way as Louis did his stained canvases, holding them and dancing them into being.


"I am distrustful of oversimplifications but nonetheless think that there is nothing very new in any period of art: what is true is that it is only something new for the painter & that this thin edge is what matters." Morris Louis


Homage to Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997)


“Lichtenstein's signature Ben-Day dots, mechanical drawing and speech balloons became a trademark of Pop Art and its belief all forms of communication are filtered through codes or languages. It was obvious no one could better represent how Otiyot (Hebrew letters) are words as Lichtenstein’s artistry and creativity.” Lynn Rae


POP ART. An interesting fact– both Warhol and Haring did a Mickey Mouse series in 1981... 20 years after Lichtenstein’s “Look Mickey” challenged response was created. Yet Warhol is considered the Father of Pop Art.


Pop Art had its beginnings in 1961 when Lichtenstein’s son, pointing to a Mickey Mouse comic book challenged, "I bet you can't paint as good as that, eh, Dad?”


Homage to Andy Warhol (1927-1987)


POP ART. Sometimes, when you are dedicated to conveying something intensely significant to you, you need to be aware that you don’t get so intent you lose your sense of humor. Although not Jewish himself, Warhol’s signature image of Campbell Soup cans is a perfect parody to include in this exhibit.


Why 27 letters?  The final form of 5 letters are included. 


"My fascination with letting images repeat and repeat - or in film's case 'run on' - manifests my belief that we spend much of our lives seeing without observing.” Andy Warhol


Homage to Jim Dine (1935- )


“This was the first artist I used in this exhibit because it is the symbol of Love, Ahava, אהבה”  Lynn Rae


POP ART. In 1962, Dine joined Lichtenstein, Warhol and others in a groundbreaking exhibit, New Painting of Common Objects. This exhibition is historically considered one of the first Pop Art exhibitions in America where everyday objects took on new significance.


“We deal with letters every day, they are so common we don’t notice them. They are caught up in words.” Jim Dine


Homage to Keith Haring (1958-1990)


“I find when I research so much, study with intensity or push myself to achieve a personal goal, I can lose touch with the joy of my objective. Haring kept me inspired and smiling.” Lynn Rae


POP ART. Haring achieved his Pop/Comic Art through whimsical graphic design and primacy of line. He created a visual language of vivid color and active figures that brings together man and the world.


“Art should be something that liberates your soul, provokes the imagination and encourages people to go further.” Keith Haring


Homage to Audrey Flack (1931 - )


“Traditionally preschoolers learn the aleph- bet using cuddly animals, fruits and vegetables. Mimicking Audrey Flak’s photorealism technique I wanted to engage a larger audience.  I selected colored pencils where the aleph bet is portrayed with a single familiar object to appeal to children of all ages who love color.” Lynn Rae


PHOTO REALISM. As a pioneer of this art genre, she incorporated projecting photographs as an aid to painting.   She emphasized symbolism to create “universal” work that all can relate to and understand.


“What makes for great art is the courage to speak and write and paint what you know and care about.” Audrey Flack

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