Jewish women artists are not, thank goodness, an apologetic breed. But that does not mean that they are all aggressive didacts. Beth Grossman’s latest small show, “All the Rest is Commentary,” is a firm but gentle reminder of what’s most important in life: taking it’s name from Rabbi Hillel’s legendary dictum “Love thy neighbor as thyself, all the rest is commentary.”
Featuring 12 tablecloths on the wall, the show embraces the domestic setting that is the stereotypical domain of femininity. The mottos printed on the tablecloths, though, are much less confined in scope, being experessions of the golden rule from 12 different cultures. The Jewish statement of this basic humanity is present in the title and location of the show, but the show itself is designed, through workshops, talks and planned out lessons to be universal.
I first heard about Beth Grossman in 2006 when I edited Sarah Glover’s piece “Remembering Miriam: Beth Grossman’s ‘Our Mother Mary Found’” for Zeek and I was impressed by the commitment to the beauty of objects, the importance of religion and the unwavering confidence in the woman’s perspective that Grossman seemed to have. (The same journal now has Arlene Goldbard’s essay inspired by the current show.)