Carmela Ciuraru

Going Green: Krasner works on the bold sweeps of her 1969 ?Portrait in Green,? at her East Hampton studio.

Out of the Shadow of Pollock, Lee Krasner Defies the World

In 1956, the artist Jackson Pollock was killed in a car crash in Springs, on the South Fork of Long Island. He was 44 years old and drunk when he drove his Oldsmobile convertible into a tree one fateful August night. He died less than a mile from his home; his mistress, who had been in the car with him, survived the accident.

Waste Management: ?Gift of Water? by eco-artist Jackie Brookner is a liv- ing sculpture that helps clean the air and filter water.

The Greening of Art

Global warming, energy shortages, the fragility of the natural world — these issues are no longer relegated to the fringes of culture. Jewish “eco-artists,” as they are called, have increasingly stepped into activist roles to provoke people’s thinking about the environment.

No Single Discipline: Ron Arad?s work is on view at the Museum of Modern Art (above). At left, his iconic Rover Chair.

Ron Arad’s Inventive Life Now on Display

Looking through a scrap yard in 1981, Israeli designer Ron Arad found two discarded red-leather seats from a British car, the Rover V8 2L. Back in his studio, he took them apart and anchored each one in tubular steel frames using cast iron “Kee Klamps,” a scaffolding system dating to the 1930s used for cow-milking stalls.

Spiral Essay: This untitled work from the series Objetos gráficos (Graphic Objects) arranges letters, but not according to their meaning as parts of words.

The (Messy) Writing on the Wall

Two current shows at New York City’s Museum of Modern Art are a study in contrasts. The retrospective Tangled Alphabets: León Ferrari and Mira Schendel shares the sixth floor, but little else, with Martin Kippenberger: The Problem Perspective. Whereas the late German artist’s work (and life) was an ode to excess — he died in 1997, of liver cancer — the work of Ferrari and Schendel is decidedly more humble. Kippenberger was the P.T. Barnum of the art world, a Whitman-esque figure given to celebrating his own grand multitudes; like Damien Hirst, Kippenberger was known and dismissed for his massive ego and his brawny, uneven output. But where the hard-drinking German artist intended by all means to dazzle and delight, Ferrari and Schendel provoke quiet scrutiny.

THE EYES HAVE IT: Obscured gazes hint at power struggles between viewers and the viewed in ?He Is Risen.?

Slippery Cabaret Art

The quirky New York City venue for Israeli-born artist Ofri Cnaani’s current solo show, “A Tale of Ends,” is apt. Le Poisson Rouge, a dimly lit bar, nightclub and gallery in the downtown space once occupied by the venerable Village Gate, bills itself as “serving art and alcohol.” It announces its off-kilter sensibility just inside the entrance, where a 5-foot-long tank, filled with fish swimming about, hangs askew from the ceiling, suspended by metal chains. Poisson Rogue is a place to consume (booze, food) and be consumed (by art and music), and this sense of devouring and being devoured also runs through Cnaani’s work.