Myths, and Nightmares, artist and historian Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern
introduces a cast of characters he says are “irreducible,” like the spare style
and primary colors he uses to set his scenes. His paintings personify
fragile survivors who represent the struggle and strength of the Jewish
experience, and, more broadly, the vulnerability of humanity.
Thirty-three paintings by Petrovsky-Shtern
will be on display for nine days, Dec. 9 to 18, at Chicago’s Spertus Institute.
Petrovsky-Shtern will lecture about his work
at an opening program at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 9. Tickets to this program are
$18 ($8 for students) and include a reception with the artist. There will also
be opportunities to meet the artist on Tuesday, Dec. 11 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.;
Thursday, Dec. 13 from 2 to 6 p.m.; and Friday, Dec. 14 from 10 a.m. to noon,
when he’ll be in residence at Spertus and available in the gallery to answer
questions and discuss his work. Admission to the exhibit, including these
opportunities to meet the artist, is free.
Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern was born in Kiev,
then USSR, to an assimilated Jewish family. He has never been formally
educated as an artist but spent a year studying under Ukrainian
satirist David Miretsky. Following Miretsky’s arrest and then
immigration to New York, Petrovsky-Shtern turned for inspiration to
Russian icons, Ukrainian naïve art, Japanese xylography, and Flemish genre
paintings. Unlike some art—such as paintings by Marc Chagall—these types of
work were on display at Soviet museums or available in reproduction.
In 1996, Petrovsky-Shtern came to the U.S. to
study Jewish history at Brandeis University. In 2003, he joined the History
Department faculty at Northwestern University, where he currently serves as the
Crown Family Professor of Jewish Studies.
information, visit www.spertus.edu.
Spertus Institute is a partner in serving our
community, supported by the JUF/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago.
Exhibits at Spertus Institute are supported in
part by a CityArts 4 grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural
Affairs and Special Events.
Gomberg is director of Marketing & Communications for the Spertus