“Generation to Generation,” Barbara Gelman, 2000, Alabaster on wood base, 8 1/2″ x 9″ x 10″
The connector between the world and the individual, mediated by the various communities of which we are each part, is articulated in what is at once a three-dimensional, smooth-edged antipode to the sharp edges of Weinstein’s work and a three-dimensional as well as personal and familial echo of sorts of Josh Stein’s “Still Here After All Those Years.” “Generation to Generation,” by Barbara Gelman, from Silver Spring, MD, is a carved alabaster work that offers a lyrical reflection on what is simultaneously a broad human focus on the question of immortality achieved through generational continuity; and a specifically Jewish articulation of that principle by way not only of the issue of generational transmission—of covenant, beginning with Genesis 22 and the story of Abraham and Isaac—but of memory itself. This work also suggests a personal, familial efflorescence, the figures rising from a common base like a flower beginning to open and spread its petals, the striations of pigment deriving from the inherent patterns of the stone offering an interior symbol of family: sometimes ebullient with disagreement yet peacefully unified.
Barbara Gelman has created sculptures in several media over a period of twenty six years using a Representative style. Drawing on life experiences, reactions to the impact of world events and studies in Biblical text, she creates a sculptural narrative. The artist’s work has been exhibited at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington in Rockville in the Senior Perspectives Show for the past ten years, and in Student Art Shows in Montgomery College, Takoma Park, over a period of nine years. You can connect with Barbara Sills Gelman on Facebook to learn more about her artwork.