Published: August 21, 2007
Yeshiva University Museum presents an exhibition of textiles by Ita Aber, “Ita B’Ita †Ita in Her Time,” on view in the Arcade and Mezzanine through October 14. The retrospective includes approximately 75 fiber art works of varying sizes that celebrate Aber’s 60 years as an artist. Works on view range in date from 1946 to 2007, and include select works on public view for the first time.
Works in the exhibition include a woman’s prayer shawl (“tallit”), ark curtains, a Torah mantle, a Simchat Torah flag and decorative textiles that depict Biblical scenes, Hebrew letters and ancient Jewish and Chinese symbols, among other imagery.
Aber uses a variety of materials in her diverse artworks that incorporate not only Jewish concepts, but also issues of social justice and cultural significance such as gender and ethnicity.
Select works, for example, contain the Greek symbols Eta (the Greek symbol for Jewish man) and Gamma (found on pre-Christian Jewish women’s clothing), which reference male-female relationships in antiquity. Never heavy-handed, Aber’s variegated palette, workmanship and accompanying commentary reflect the artist’s philosophy of life and humor. Her use of flexible bra wires in “Underwires are a Pain” and her T-shirt made of teabags are two examples.
Born in Montreal in 1932, Ita Aber has worked as an artist, textile conservator and historian. She has had solo exhibitions in Washington, D.C., and throughout New York State, including a retrospective at the Broome Street Gallery in 2001. She has been included in a various group exhibitions in the United States and internationally.
Her work is represented in public collections throughout the United States and in Israel, including the Brooklyn Museum, The Jewish Museum, Yeshiva University Museum and the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, all in New York City, as well as the Newark Museum in New Jersey and the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.
Yeshiva University Museum at the Center for Jewish History is at 15 West 16th Street (between Fifth & Sixth Avenues). For more information, www.yumuseum.org or 212-294-8330.
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