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Date: May 04, 2012
Artist Pays Tribute to the Memories of Those Lost During the Holocaust with Original Retrospective Exhibit
Hofstra University Museum Presents "Yonia Fain: Remembrance"
Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY – The exhibition Yonia Fain: Remembrance, on view through August 3, 2012 in the Hofstra University Museum’s Emily Lowe Gallery, provides a retrospective look at works by internationally acclaimed artist and poet Yonia Fain created between 1959 and the present.
Yonia Fain is an internationally acclaimed artist and poet. In his artwork, Fain (Hofstra University retired professor of art history and humanities [1971-1985]) employs powerful visual imagery in his canvases and works on paper which pay tribute to the memories of those lost during the Holocaust. His work is eloquent as it simultaneously relates the Holocaust’s despair and atrocities while expressing key themes of survival and hope.
“Yonia Fain’s art, his often larger-than-life canvases convey the atrocities of war while simultaneously offering hope and the affirmation of life,” said Executive Director of the Hofstra University Museum Beth E. Levinthal. “Through his masterful use of line, his conveyance of the human form, his choice of color, and his brushstrokes the viewer becomes caught within a transformed reality that ignites the imagination, letting us know we are in the presence of a singular artistic voice, a voice that conveys history.”
The exhibition consists of over 20 paintings and mixed media works as well as examples of Yonia Fain’s poetry. Accompanying the exhibit is a fully illustrated catalog, Yonia Fain: Remembrance with an essay and timeline providing strong historical and artistic context for the artist by Kenneth Wayne, Ph.D., an art historian and Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs at The Noguchi Museum. Also included in the exhibition are works by Rufino Tamayo and Diego Rivera, who championed Fain’s work by mounting exhibitions and writing catalog essays during Fain’s years in Mexico and then in New York.
The exhibition opening reception took place on Holocaust Remembrance Day, Thursday, April 19, in the Emily Lowe Gallery. The reception featured performances by Hofstra University’s vocal groups Sigma’capella, as well as a reading of the artist’s poetry by Bob Spiotto, executive director of Hofstra Entertainment. The Museum gratefully acknowledges the support of the New York State Council on the Arts and the Tilles Family in bringing this exhibition to the public.
Yonia Fain was born in Russia in 1913, and studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vilna, Poland, receiving his B.A. and M.F.A. degrees. His life story is one of survival having escaped the pogroms of Russia, the Nazis and the Soviets in 1939, spending much of World War II in a Jewish Ghetto in Shanghai, and subsequently locating in Mexico in 1947, where he worked for seven years with the artist Diego Rivera while teaching at the University of Mexico. At the urging of artist Rufino Tamayo he relocated to New York in 1954. His work has been featured in major American and European museums and galleries including representing Mexico in the 1952 Carnegie International, participation in three annual Whitney Museum of American Art exhibitions (1972, 1973, 1974), a one-man exhibition at Oxford University in 1995, a 2001 exhibit at the National Holocaust Museum, and a 2008 exhibit at the Hofstra University Museum. He served for many years as the President of the Yiddish Pen Society and has been honored by the State of Israel for his poetry and books such as A Gallow Under the Stars, and The Fifth Season. At the age of 98, Yonia Fain continues to work daily from his Brooklyn home true to his mission to respect the memories of those lost in the Holocaust.
Other public programming related to the exhibition includes the screening of the Harold Pinter narrated documentary examining Fain’s artistic viewpoint The Eye of the Storm on May 8, 2012 at 3 p.m. Inspired by Remembrance: A Poetry Workshop with Hofstra University adjunct instructor, Connie Roberts, on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 3 p.m. will enable participants to use the works on view as inspiration for poetry they create and share with the group.
For more information on this exhibit and associated public programs please call (516) 463-5672 or visit the Hofstra University website at www.hofstra.edu/museum.
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Related Link: More About This Exhibition