Maira Kalman’s (Not So) Ordinary Life

July 10, 2011 at 6:00 pm

Where: The Jewish Museum, 1109 5th Ave at 92nd Street New York, N.Y. 10128
Opening: March 11, 2011
Closing: July 31, 2011
Price: Adults: $12; seniors: $10; students: $ 7.50; children: Free

It might be an understatement to say that Maira Kalman’s exhibit at the Jewish Museum revels in the quotidian.

“When I see things, I fall in love with them,” the writer and illustrator said in an interview with SundayArts. Kalman’s first career survey, titled “Maira Kalman: Various Illuminations (of a Crazy World),” spans 30 years and showcases an outright passion for the otherwise invisible details of the everyday.

Many of the items on view, including her people-centric illustrations, draw their inspiration from walks she takes around the city, a ritual she describes as “a suspension of all the things that are weighing you down.” Others works — less widely seen photos, textiles, embroidery and even household rubber bands — take their cue from the artist’s domestic life in New York.

Kalman sees the show less as an art exhibition than as a narrative, punctuated with a talent for finding what New York magazine calls “the peculiar in the ordinary.”