By Tom Sandqvist
This survey asks a doubtless uncomplicated query: Is there an affinity among the emergence of recent paintings and diverse Avant-Garde events reminiscent of Russian Suprematism and varnish or Hungarian Constructivism round concerning the flip of the final century and the method of Jewish assimilation within the Habsburg empire and Russian tsardom respectively? What in regards to the attainable connection among «Hebraism», Jewish Messianism, Talmudic philosophy, and Kabbalistic speculations and the main radical, Utopian Avant-Garde activities of the zone? was once Russian Cubo-Futurism, Suprematism, Productivism, Polish and Hungarian Constructivism really fostered by way of rules and practices articulated in japanese Jewry? And what was once the impression of Anti-Semitism on how the artists regarding stylistic purity and their very own cultural id within the zone already ahead of the emergence of Avant-Gardism? and the way did the meant biblical ban on «graven images» impression the process of the Jewish artists?
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Additional info for Ahasuerus at the Easel: Jewish Art and Jewish Artists in Central and Eastern European Modernism at the Turn of the Last Century
Jewish Art Jewish Art – Is There Any at All? Indeed, is there something which might be defined as a specific Jewish art at all, preferably with the adjective Jewish not surrounded by quotes? In any case we may accept that it’s difficult to compare the term Jewish art with terms such as “Islamic art” or “Christian art”, since two two latter ones are classified only on the basis of the religious affiliation which they are supposed to manifest, while the adjective Jewish must be characterized as much more multidimensional.
61–63. 28 their own everywhere, but are at home nowhere, was the slogan. The foreigner is not nor does he pretend to be a patriot, but when it comes to a Jew, then he is not a native of his own homeland, nor a foreigner. Indeed, he is the true stranger par excellence. He is regarded neither as a friend nor as an enemy, but only as a stranger, of which the only thing is known that he doesn’t have a home. 25 As mentioned before, the process of assimilation or integration was never completed, this too being a fundamental precondition of the participation in the process of modernization, since this implies a flexibility as profound as possible.
Already at the beginning of the “Jewish century”, the Berlin-based lawyer Karl W. F. Grattenauer wrote in his widely distributed pamphlet Wider die Juden that the assimilated Jews may talk how much ever they wanted about Goethe, Schiller and Schlegel, they would remain an Oriental people of strangers anyway. Despite their patriotic contributions they were “unadulterated Orientals”, the historian Heinrich von Tretschke in turn explained in 1879, that is, in the same year as the German journalist, atheist and anarchist Wilhelm Marr introduced the very 44 term “Anti-Semitism” in his later on incredibly popular publication Der Sieg des Judentum über das Germanentum, in which he violently attacked the Jews for being foreign Semites, that is, Orientals not suitable for the German nation.