Haim Steinbach watched many of his peers experience phenomenal success. At 68, the artist whom some have dubbed the heir to Marcel Duchamp is enjoying a renaissance.
In 1940-1941, as part of the American journalist Varian Fry’s rescue of anti-Nazi European intellectuals, artist Marcel Duchamp fled to New York, with a brief stopover in Morocco. This visit is the focus of a new novel by Serge Bramly, a Frenchman of Tunisian Jewish origin. The title of “Orchidée fixe” cites a virtually untranslatable pun by Duchamp referring to orchids and obsessions.
Sometimes posterity can play odd tricks on talented artists. Paul Burlin (1886-1969), born Isadore Berlin in New York, was rediscovered repeatedly during his lifetime, only to fall into subsequent obscurity. Now a new biography by Michelle Wick Patterson, “Natalie Curtis Burlin: A Life in Native and African American Music,” about Burlin’s ethnomusicologist wife, sheds light on obstacles which the couple conquered.