In this exhibition\, six post-1970 works from the Museum’s c ollection respond to mid-twentieth-century modernism. Each uses the languag e of abstraction – areas of pure color\, geometric shapes\, and gestural br ushwork – and adds to it\, incorporating words and symbols with specific pe rsonal\, historical\, and cultural meanings. Artists represented include Wi lliam Anastasi\, Ross Bleckner\, Dana Frankfort\, Alain Kirili\, Brigitte N aHoN and Frank Stella.

In William Anastasi’s Untitled (Jew)\ , 1987\, the artist confronts the viewer with the single word jew\ , which he considers the most charged word in the English language\, l eaping from an otherwise monochrome canvas. For Anastasi\, the word conjure s both positive and negative associations: it evokes great modern intellect uals such as Freud\, Schoenberg\, Einstein\, Kafka and Marx\, as well as id eas that are defamatory\, even violent.

The iconic Jewish emblem of the Star of David emerges from Ross Bleckner’s minimalist stripe painti ng and Dana Frankfort’s field of expressionistic color\, both inspired by t he highly aesthetic\, abstract language of the Color Field painters of the 1950s\, who experimented with saturated colors in large\, open areas of pur e paint. Bleckner’s Double Portrait (Gay Flag)\, 1993 becomes a me taphorical self-portrait\, incorporating the rainbow colors of the gay prid e flag and the Star of David to embody the artist’s sexual\, ethnic\, and a rtistic identities. Frankfort’s Star of David (Orange)\, 2007\, st retches and distorts a familiar symbol so that its form is emphasized. Fran kfort seeks a universal meaning in the six-pointed Jewish star: “I like the idea that a star can’t be original. It’s a symbol that anyone can draw and have.”

Alain Kirili’s Commandment II\, 1980 reflects the artist’s fascination with both traditional biblical scripture and moder nist\, nonrepresentational art. The work’s seventeen sculptural elements ar e abstracted from the calligraphic Hebrew letters of the Torah and can be s een as symbols that can be variously assembled to create new meaning.

Frank Stella’s Dawidgródek III\, 1971\, from the Polish Village series is inspired by the architecturally whimsical wooden syn agogues built in provincial Poland before the 20th century and destroyed du ring World War II. Stella transforms their bold\, distinctive forms into br ightly colored\, abstract shapes and patterns\, capturing their exuberant s pirit and creating constructions that play between architecture and paintin g.

Brigitte NaHoN’s sculpture TIME ZERO\, 2006\, addres ses opposites: balance and imbalance\, solidity and fragility\, heaviness a nd lightness\, the temporary and the eternal. TIME ZERO was the fi rst work made after the artist’s recovery from a serious illness. In the sc ulpture\, life metaphorically hangs in the balance as wooden spokes and cry stals cascade toward two reflective stainless steel panels on the floor.

LOCATION:The Jewish Museum\,1109 Fifth Avenue (at 92nd Street) \nNew York\, NY 10128 SUMMARY:Word Symbol Space\, William Anastasi\, Ross Bleckner\, Dana Frankfo rt\, Alain Kirili\, Brigitte NaHoN\, Frank Stella END:VEVENT END:VCALENDAR