March 5th, 2014
Paintings and sculpture by Keren Kroul, Jeffrey Haddorff, Judith G. Baron and Lena Wolf Rothman are presented in contrast to one another
By DORIS RUBENSTEIN
The three art exhibits currently on display at the Sabes JCC cover a vast spectrum of styles and themes — from the large and universal to the small and extremely personal.
Kroul’s unframed watercolors on paper attempt to express big themes: “Where Matter Becomes Conscious” and “Unquiet Mind” are two of those themes. Considering Kroul’s background, her messages are not surprising. Born in Israel, she grew up in Mexico and Costa Rica, and lived in New York City and Memphis, Tenn., with an academic stop along the way at Brandeis University before settling in Minneapolis.
Her larger works are fragmented murals, so to see them as a whole, one must step back. However, her true message lies in the multitude of details that give texture to the paintings. They reveal tiny figures and faces when viewed up close, forming natural objects — clouds, whirlwinds, rocks, etc. On the other hand, the eight-part mural “Multitude” takes the colors and forms of a cleft rock that exposes the geode inside; each of the multitude of crystals within the matrix contributes to the completeness of its beauty.
“Mind” is a sister piece to “Multitude” in that it shares a similar size and geometric design. In “Mind,” however, the artist uses geometry to guide the eye across the paper, as if we could see the electrical circuitry of axons and dendrites flashing chemical messages in synapses across the brain. The beauty and message of all her exhibited work lies in the minutiae within the larger images.
Haddorff’s message, on the other hand, is writ large in his monumental ceramic installations. These are not figurines that you’d display on your coffee table, but they might fit in comfortably if you have a professionally designed garden. They do so in Haddorff’s own Linden Hills yard, not far from Shir Tikvah Congregration where his family holds membership.