Judith H. Dobrzynski
Judith H. Dobrzynski
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

Latest Articles

'Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving' Review: Searching for the Art
Brooklyn Museum's exhibit of some 325 objects—from photographs to clothing to orthopedic corsets to lipsticks and eyebrow pencils—is more a biographical than artistic journey.

February 11, 2019  •  The Wall Street Journal

Brooklyn, N.Y.

Fridalandia! The vast exhibition that just opened at the Brooklyn Museum is officially titled "Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving," but a more apt moniker might have paralleled what she called the U.S.: Gringolandia. This display of more than 325 objects, from photographs to clothing to orthopedic corsets to lipsticks and eyebrow pencils, takes visitors on a trip through Kahlo's world, from her comfortable childhood to her tormented medical history to her troubled marriage with renowned painter Diego Rivera to her complicated identity. It is all things Frida. It's a three-dimensional scrapbook. It even includes the prosthetic leg, in a boot, that she wore after her leg was amputated.

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Masterpiece: A True Island Sanctuary
Behind the unassuming facade of Ethiopia's Narga Selassie church, located in the middle of Lake Tana, lies a trove of stunning religious paintings.

February 9, 2019  •  The Wall Street Journal

Entering the Narga Selassie church in northwest Ethiopia is a bit jarring. The circular stone church, built in the mid-1700s, resembles the spare, thatched-roof homes many Ethiopians inhabit even today. It sits on grass worn by pilgrims' feet on an island in Lake Tana, the country's largest lake. It looks neglected.

Inside, however, visitors find themselves in a different world: Narga Selassie's walls are covered with religious paintings illustrating Old and New Testament stories and a few saintly narratives. They are colorful, decorative, inventive, often idealized images with a folk-art quality. Although time has damaged some, and others have been repainted, they are astonishing.

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'Monet's Waterloo Bridge" Series: Review
Paintings That Span London's Many Moods

January 29, 2019  •  The Wall Street Journal

Worcester, Mass.

Eyeing a bridge, some people see utility, a way over a barrier. Others see industry, activity, modernity. Still others see a vantage point, with lofty, wide views. And some see beauty, in form and structure.

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MacKenzie Art Gallery given 1,000 works by contemporary indigenous artists from Canada and the US
Collectors Thomas Druyan, Alice Ladner drawn by its dedication to indigenous and aboriginal art globally

January 16, 2019  •  The Art Newspaper

When the Canadian collectors Thomas Druyan and Alice Ladner, then living in Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories, were deciding where to donate around 1,000 works of contemporary indigenous art, they did not consider distance. They chose the MacKenzie Art Gallery in Regina, Saskatchewan, more than 1,300 miles from Yellowknife and 500 miles from their new home in Edmonton. Why? "There are closer museums, but the MacKenzie has been committed to indigenous art since the 1970s and, especially, has had an indigenous art curator from the '70s," says Druyan, a lawyer for the Alberta government. He and Ladner, a retired editor, were attracted by the museum's strong history of collecting indigenous and aboriginal art not only from the Americas, but also Australia, New Zealand and Scandinavia.

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'Gauguin: A Spiritual Journey': Tracing a Painter's Soul
An exhibition illuminates Gauguin's restlessness, both creative and religious.

January 7, 2019  •  The Wall Street Journal

Paul Gauguin (1848-1903) always seemed to be striving. He aimed to be a different kind of artist, connected to past masters but determined to strike out on his own. Lacking formal training, he tried out several artistic approaches and experimented with many materials before devising the bold, colorful painting style that secured his place in art history. He famously left his family behind in Europe, struggling financially, while he went off to Tahiti and the Marquesas Islands in pursuit of new cultures, new imagery and new freedoms.

This restless artist also had a restless soul. Educated in a private Catholic school, he constantly sought an understanding of faith, belief and the divine.

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