99 László Fehér: Chassidim


oil on canvas 


gift, early 1980s

László Fehér is a contemporary Hungarian painter who has been attracted to Jewish themes since the 1970s.  His interest in Jewish religion and the expressions of Jewish identity intensified in the early ‘80s, after painting the ‘Abandoned Graveyard’ and ‘LT’ (Diptych) ‘Diaspora’ is an outstanding treatment of this subject, depicting a broken matzah, which is a reference to the Jewish people living in dispersion, and also to the broken tablets.  His other major work, ‘Holiday’, a series on Jewish holidays dates back to this same period.  In ‘Holiday’, he artistically portrayed liturgical objects of the Jewish religion.  ‘Hasidic Men’ was painted in the hyperrealistic style, which could be mistaken for a fine art photograph. The lacking background details, the orthodox men wearing sidelocks add to making Jewish identity timeless, location independent, and somewhat impersonal.