An Art of Vision and Faith

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Mark Podwal is a medical doctor and artist. To visit his examining room is to be cured and regaled with artistry of cultural constructs and religious faith. His current book Reimagined: 45 Years of Jewish Art by Mark Podwal, with a foreword by Elie Wiesel, preface by Cynthia Ozick and essay by Elisheva Carlebach (published by Glitterati Incorporated), reflects a lifetime of devotion.

Initially known for his drawings for The New York Times Op-Ed page, he is the illustrator of numerous books in collaboration with the likes of luminaries such as Elie Wiesel, Harold Bloom and Francine Prose.

Podwal’s work is represented in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Israel Museum, the Jewish Museum in Prague, the Bodleian Library, the Library of Congress, and many others. While attending New York University School of Medicine, the tumultuous events of the 1960s compelled Podwal to create a series of political drawings that were published as his first book, The Decline and Fall of the American Empire. In 1996, the French government named Podwal an Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters. Beyond his works on paper, Podwal’s artistry has been employed in an array of diverse projects including the design of a series of decorative plates for the Metropolitan Museum of Art. His artwork has been engraved on a Congressional Gold Medal and embroidered on tapestries that adorn the Old-New Synagogue in Prague.

Reimagined: 45 Years of Jewish Art is a massive collection and the first monograph of this famed and prolific artist; one who has connected with art lovers from New York, Prague, Israel and everywhere in between. In this extended collection, the reader encounters the diverse array of works that represent and span Podwal’s illustrious career; from the whimsical, such as Matzoh Moon and Talmud Typewriter, to the political, such as Munich Massacre and Annexing Arab Anger, to the religious, which includes Passover Haggadah illustrations and textile designs from the world’s most historic synagogues.

Luxuriously produced and spanning 45 years of intensive work, this collection of Podwal’s oeuvre contains more than 350 gorgeously reproduced artworks that imaginatively illuminate Jewish legend, history and tradition.

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1. Sword Stretched Out Over Jerusalem, 1971

Sword Stretched Out Over Jerusalem, 1971

19. Against the Evil Eye, 1978

Against the Evil Eye, 1978

24. Midnight, 1979

Midnight, 1979

65. Jews of Silence, 1985

Jews of Silence, 1985

96. Rabbi Loew with the Golem, 1994_LT

Rabbi Loew with the Golem, 1994

116. Bottle Dance, 1995_LT

Bottle Dance, 1995

138. Hanukkah Menorah with Plug, 1997

Hanukkah Menorah with Plug, 1997

143. Ghetto Wall, 1997_LT

Ghetto Wall, 1997

293. Angels Speak Hebrew, 2010_LT

Angels Speak Hebrew, 2010

297. Hanukkah Menorah, 2011_LT

Hanukkah Menorah, 2011

309. Omer Calendar Hamsa, 2011

Omer Calendar Hamsa

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About Steven HellerSteven Heller is the co-chair of
the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes frequently for Wired and Design Observer. He is also the author of over 170 books on design and visual culture. He received the 1999 AIGA Medal and is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.View all posts by Steven Heller →