Leonard Tourné Gallery will host an art exhibition and benefit for American Jewish World Service (AJWS) featuring artwork by painter and Holocaust survivor Sonja Eisenberg. AJWS supports grassroots organizations in Africa, Asia, and the Americas that are working to create a more just and equitable world where poverty, discrimination and violence no longer exist and where individuals are free to flourish and live their lives with dignity.
Originally from Berlin, Sonja Eisenberg fled Nazi Germany at the age of eleven and came with her parents and brother to New York, where she still resides. Her work has been exhibited widely across the United States and in France, Israel, Japan, Amsterdam, Austria, England, Switzerland and her native Germany. In addition to her paintings, she has designed numerous posters, magazine covers, and two cachets for the World Federation of United Nations Associations.
Olivier Bernier, author and lecturer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, once said of Eisenberg: That her technique is dazzling goes without saying: these transparent mists, these vaporous distances, these infinitely subtle shades which appear in her work seem as if nature itself had made them; but then, great art always seems inevitable. We are offered a series of voluptuous pleasures as we look at the wealth of details; and that is as it should be. Other artists might think that, alone, was a sufficient achievement. Eisenberg knows better: even as her work seduces the eye, it speaks to the soul; and that is why it will remain after so much else is forgotten.
Painting for Eisenberg is about transformation of the unseen, a means of turning lightness into strength and grief into hope.
As a young adult, Eisenberg was stricken by an illness that kept her bedridden for years. Her first of four children, Ronald, was diagnosed with leukemia and died at the age of 12.
Eisenberg began painting several years later when her younger son brought a box of paints to her bedside and asked for a painting for his 10th birthday. She recalled a request made by her first son on what would be the day before his death. “Promise me,” he had said, “that you will share with everyone what you have taught me. That way, some day soon, there will be no more war.”
A portion of the proceeds from the sale of Eisenberg’s paintings on December 8th will be donated to AJWS, whose representatives will be on hand to accept donations and discuss the organization. We hope you can join us in celebrating the work of Sonja Eisenberg and in supporting AJWS in making a significant and sustainable difference in the lives of tens of thousands of people throughout the world every day.