In her review of “From the Margins: Lee Krasner and Norman Lewis, 1945-1952” New York Times art critic Karen Rosenberg notes the “fascinating” catalog essay by History of Art Professor Lisa Saltzman.
In the review, Rosenberg writes about what the exhibition’s curator refers to as a “magical synergy” between the artists’ work.
From the article:
More of these moments occur in the second room, the heart of the show, which brings together Krasner’s “Little Image” paintings and the “Little Figure” paintings of Lewis. It suggests not only an obvious common interest in diminutive imagery, but also an obsession with painting-as-writing (or, as the Abstract Expressionist progenitor John Graham called it, “écriture.”)
With their neat rows of pictographs, the “Little Image” paintings relate clearly to Krasner’s religious education as a child of Jewish immigrants from Russia. She painted them from right to left, as Hebrew is written. But her glyphs can be read in a broader context, as evidence of a general interest in codes and ancient scripts. (A fascinating catalog essay, by Lisa Saltzman, mentions World War II cryptography and the effort to decipher clay tablets at Knossos as possible influences.)
Saltzman has received fellowships from the DAAD, the Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study, the Clark Art Institute, and the Guggenheim Foundation. At Bryn Mawr, Saltzman teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in modern and contemporary art and theory, and from 2003-2009 she served as the director of the Center for Visual Culture. She is the author of Anselm Kiefer and Art after Auschwitz and Making Memory Matter: Strategies of Remembrance in Contemporary Art. She is also the co-editor, with Eric Rosenberg, of Trauma and Visuality in Modernity. She is currently at work on a new book about the “afterlife” of photography in contemporary culture, Daguerreotypes: Fugitive Subjects, Contemporary Objects, forthcoming with the University of Chicago Press.
Saltzman received her bachelor’s degree from Princeton in 1988 and her Ph.D. from Harvard in 1994.