May 4 – June 23, 2023
Maine Jewish Museum
My recent mixed-media assemblages inspired by selected Parashiyot explore the interplay of myth, ritual, memory and truth. By repurposing found objects, texts and photographs — vestiges of a modern world — I examine the mysteries and struggles depicted in the Scriptures. The use of disparate materials across a consistent background of aged and unfinished wooden boxes literally imbues this visual, biblical mosaic with elements of creation and the smell of the earth.
My compositions are not meant to be literal illustrations of the Torah. Each assemblage is layered with irony, as well as personal and social commentary, while reinterpreting significant moments in our collective Jewish history. I incorporate the recurring themes of retribution, repentance and redemption embedded in the biblical encounters between humans and G-d.
By giving a contemporary shape to the retelling of ancient texts, I have constructed a portal into my imagination, traditions and faith.
Robert Katz’s sculptural installations often utilize a rich visual language to explore issues about personal identity and remembrance. His art reflects themes of exile, redemption and moral imperative.
His sculptures have been exhibited at the Jiangsu Chinese Art Academy in Nanjing, China; the Derfner Judaica Museum in Riverdale, New York; The Charter Oak Cultural Center, Connecticut, and his mixed media installation, The Five Books of Moses was recently installed at the List Visual Arts Center on the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is the designer of numerous Holocaust memorials.
Katz has been the resident artist at the Seeds of Peace International Camp, the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow, Poland. He has also been a guest speaker at international conferences in Poland and Israel. In addition, he was a guest artist at Oxford University and the Interfaith Programme at Cambridge University, England as well as the World Affairs Council, the Nexus Centre for the Humanities in Newfoundland and the Canadian Immigration Museum in Halifax.
Most recently, he led a team of designers to create The Welcome Table Project that commemorates the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This landscaped memorial has been funded by the Glickman-Lauder Foundation and will be constructed on the campus of the University of Maine at Augusta. He is also the recipient of the JAW Art Fellowship from the Amen Institute for which he created The Biblical Tableaux.
Katz grew up in Brooklyn New York and he earned his undergraduate degree from New York University. In 1973 he moved to Montana where he established a studio practice and where he received a MFA from the University of Montana. For the past forty years he has lived in central, Maine. He is a Professor of Art at the University of Maine at Augusta and serves on the Board of Directors of the Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine.
May 4 – 5:00 – 7:00 PM
Mingle with artists and art lovers, enjoy wine and cheese with museum mavens and curious minds, and celebrate with us as we unveil our newest exhibitions!