Who, what and where: @sohoplace, Auschwitz photography and art exhibition
THEATER: Feel the burns
No one could accuse Nica Burns of holding back when it comes to opening new scenes. The Jewish theater superstar already co-owns and operates six venues in her Nimax group, but has now performed a miracle and opened the West End’s first new theater in 50 years. @sohoplace opened last week despite all the difficulties presented by Crossrail’s redevelopment at Tottenham Court Road station. The auditorium actually sits directly above the new Elizabeth line, but the sound of the tubes was no match for Nica which has the Vaudeville (which houses Six until October 29 then 42 balloons) the palace (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child ) and the Apollo in its stable. @sohoplace not only offers wonderful acoustics and perfect sightlines from every seat, it opened with the aptly named piece Marvelous, based on Neil Baldwin’s memoir of overcoming his learning disabilities to live a full life of adventures. Marvelous runs for six weeks until As You Like It arrives Dec. 6, but Nica opted to run the non-profit venue with proceeds donated to @sohoplace. For that, she deserves a standing ovation. sohoplace.org
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EXHIBITION: See Auschwitz
See Auschwitz like you’ve never seen it before in a new exhibition in South Kensington. See Auschwitz is a collection of 100 photographs of the camp that have survived to the present day, with an audio guide that includes testimonies from survivors. The images, captured by perpetrators, victims and liberators, offer a disturbing perspective and stark evidence of mass murder, but also show the humanity of those who perished there.
Chief curator and one of the world’s foremost experts on the Holocaust, Paul Salmons says: “They look like true-to-life portraits of a moment, but these photographs are not neutral sources at all: we are looking at a piece of reality but seen from the Nazi era. perspective. It is necessary to stop and analyze them to really see what each image really reveals, not only about the place and the time, but also about their own authors, the people represented, and even about ourselves as spectators”.
Seeing Auschwitz is located at 81 Old Brompton Rd, South Kensington, London SW7 3LD. see auschwitz.com
ART: Selfish Artist
A previously unseen, previously unseen painting by British Jewish artist Mark Gertler (1891-1939) is up for auction at Chorley later this year and is expected to fetch up to £8,000. Still Life with Earthenware Vessel and Blue Ewer has been in the private collection of art connoisseur Lt. Col. Murray ‘Victor’ Burrow Hill, DSO, MC (1887-1986) for over 100 years. It is believed that Victor may have acquired the work directly from the artist the same year it was painted, during Gertler’s stay with other artists in France in 1922. Gertler was born in Spitalfields d’ impoverished Polish Jewish immigrants. He took evening art classes at Regent Street Polytechnic, before winning a national art competition which inspired him to apply for a scholarship from the Jewish Education Aid Society. After achieving it, he was able to study at the prestigious Slade School of Art. Although very accomplished and having several patrons, he spent much of his life juggling finances and in mental despair. He had an unpredictable and slightly arrogant personality – after a visit to Virginia Woolfe in 1916, she exclaimed, “Good God what a selfish person.” Despite this, he was much admired and was the subject of many characters in books, such as Loerke in DH Lawrence’s women in love. He committed suicide in 1939.
ART HOUSE: House Painting
If you’re the kind of artist who needs an inspiring environment, setting up your easel in Marc Chagall’s former home might be just the thing. Typically in short supply, most creatives couldn’t afford to live in a famous painter’s home, but Chagall’s home in High Falls, upstate New York, is on sale for £212,000. It’s only a two-bed bathroom, but think what you could achieve in this cobble house on half an acre. Chagall shared the property with his much younger lover, Virginia Haggard McNeil, an artist and the daughter of a British diplomat who had been his governess in New York. Chagall had lost his wife Bella when he moved there, so it was a sad time, but a prolific time for the work as he produced 100 paintings including Self Portrait with Wall Clock. The Belarusian-born artist was also visited by the FBI at home due to his leftist politics, which resulted in him being denied a visa. Naturally, Chagall sold the house in 1952 and returned to France.
PAINTER: What’s cooking?
Known locally as the artist who captures people, Barbara J Lewis has traveled further than Belsize Park with her most recent work, Service! The large painting depicts the exhausted chefs in the kitchen of Michelin-starred restaurant Theo Randall at the Intercontinental. Barbara, who trained as a portrait painter in Florence, is available to paint you in your kitchen if you wish.