The ancient Kabbalists believed that it was possible to find meaning in the empty spaces around and within the letters of texts. The Japanese concept of Notan views the relationship between negative and positive space as reciprocal and necessary for harmony and balance. These two worldviews deeply influence the artist’s work. Deborah Ugoretz explores these by working with cut paper and painting in acrylics. “The simplicity, flexibility, and strength of paper enable me to transform it into multidimensional art with a limitless range of expression,” she said.
Inspired by the written word, Ugoretz takes texts—poems, prayers, and ancient writings—and translates them into a visual language that infuses those words with deeper meaning because visual language can touch on a richer emotional and intellectual level. One of Ugoretz’s works, “The Six Days of Creation,” based on the Genesis story, uses her theory of color as a comment on the ravages of disposable culture.
The exhibit is accompanied by a display of rare books from the Special Collections. The exhibit will be on view until May 20.
About the Artist
Deborah Ugoretz is a Brooklyn-based artist, born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She holds a B.S. in fine art from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her expressive work deals with the exploration of feminism, her concern for and fascination with the diversity of the natural world, and social issues. Since 1978, Ugoretz has been a master cut paper artist and teacher. Her work was featured in the monograph In the Tradition of Our Ancestors – Papercutting (Folklife Program of the New Jersey State Council of the Arts, 2006) and the catalog of the exhibition “Slash! Paper Under the Knife,” held at the Museum of Art and Design in New York from 2009 2010. She has designed stained glass windows and synagogue art for the Russ Berrie Home for Jewish Life in Rockleigh, New Jersey, and other houses of worship. Other commissions include the Tenement Museum, University of Michigan, Jewish Theological Seminary, YIVO Institute of Jewish Research, and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.
Ugoretz’s work has been exhibited at the Milwaukee Jewish Museum, the Monmouth Art Museum, the Hebrew Union College Institute of Religion Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Jewish Art, The Museum of Biblical Art, the UJA Federation Gallery, and others. Ugoretz is recognized by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts as a master cut-paper artist.
This event is open to alumni, faculty/staff, parents, students, and the public.