Amidst the global coronavirus pandemic, FENTSTER in downtown Toronto has opened a new exhibition in its window gallery to bring art to the city during challenging times.
Online Opening Event | Monday, May 18 | 7 – 8 PM
Toronto artist Robert Davidovitz creates a stained glass sculpture as an homage to his roots in Vilna and to the fragile material that buttressed his family for generations. For this original work created for the FENTSTER window gallery, the artist embraces a family practice that began with his grandfather, Motel who repaired broken windows in post-war Vilna to support his young family and then continued with his father Meir who in turn opened a window business upon immigrating to Israel in the 70s, often restoring synagogue stained glass. Windows were again the family’s entré into a new life after moving to Canada.
In his father’s workshop, Davidovitz created his glass installation, informed by a 1935 painting Marc Chagall made upon visiting the private Vilna synagogue of an influential 18th century Rabbi known as the Gaon (genius) of Vilna. Intertwining personal and collective memory, Davidovitz reinterpreted the colourful windows seen in Chagall’s canvas of the synagogue that was later destroyed during the war. Cracked panes remind us how brokenness is a part of life, undeniable at a time when our existence feels shattered. The exhibition title comes from a Yiddish poem by noted Vilna writer Avrom Sutzkever (1913-2010), resonating with the exhibition and with this moment when the globe seems fractured at a scale not seen since the Second World War. What will remain of life before? What will remain of the devastation? What will remain through our memory, legacy, and connections with each other?
Robert Davidovitz is an Israeli born, Toronto-based artist. He received his B.A. in Visual Arts from York University. Best known for his “Woven Paint” series, his work has been exhibited in public galleries and museums including Durham Art Gallery, Thames Art Gallery, Harbourfront Centre, and most recently at Museum London. Davidovitz has been awarded grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Toronto Arts Council, and has been featured in various publications and press including the Huffington Post, Moco Loco, and Bizarre Beyond Belief.
Lighting Design: Nick Blais
FENTSTER exhibitions are on view 24/7 at 402 College Street. Visitors are requested to maintain physical distancing precautions at all times.
Visit FENTSTER @ Makom day & night
402 College Street
Toronto, Ontario, M5T 1S8