The art of Canadian American artist Gilah Yelin Hirsch can be characterized by a search for meaning. Archaeology of Metaphor brings together original ideas in art, science, ecology, and human consciousness as well as additional timeless themes, such as contemporary issues of race and equality. At the same time, this book examines and connects psychological, scientific, and philosophical implications of form as represented in Hirsch’s oeuvre.
• Donna Stein, Editor and Exhibition Curator
Click to view a PDF of 7 consecutive spreads in the book (pages 2-15).
Archaeology of Metaphor:
The Art of Gilah Yelin Hirsch
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Archaeology of Metaphor, The Art of Gilah Yelin Hirsch, published by Skira editore spa, Milan debuted at the opening of a retrospective exhibition of the same name curated by Donna Stein at the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, Santa Ana, CA, October, 2022.
This 182 page monograph, the first comprehensive international publication on the artist, creates a kaleidoscopic context for Hirsch’s perpetually evolving, multi-disciplinary work. The richly illustrated volume includes more than 100 images and consists of an in-depth conversation between Stein and Hirsch, as well as two provocative essays probing the oeuvre of the artist by Canadian psychiatrist Laurence Kirmayer and American art historian Carolyn Stuart.
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Demonic to Divine
The Double Life of Shulamis Yelin
Published in 2015 by Véhicule Press, Demonic to Divine is a weaving of the Montreal writer’s stories, selected diary excerpts and family photographs that reveal a far-reaching creative personality who was haunted from the age of ten by the “moods taking over.”
This book poignantly illuminates the dramatic duality of a public and private literary and emotional life through her published and unpublished stories of an idyllic Montreal Jewish immigrant childhood contrasted with deeply troubled and often shocking diary entries that document the author’s lifelong battle with mental illness.
Yelin’s insightful yet light and humorous stories have been cherished by generations of children and adults for their universal appeal. The journal entries that she maintained for most of her 90 years document the abuse, paranoia, self-loathing, doubt and devastating depression of Yelin’s true emotional state. These concurrent lenses reveal the profound struggles and suffering of a fascinating and highly gifted woman who transcended her ongoing deep-seated emotional agony to create a significant literary legacy.
The many threads of this multi-layered book have been woven together through the collaboration of Yelin’s daughter Gilah Yelin Hirsch, and Yelin’s first stories’ editor, Nancy Marrelli. – Véhicule Press
“Although the title Demonic to Divine alludes to extremities of feeling, and the text gives some inkling of the great darkness with which Shulamis struggled throughout her life, the overarching narrative in this volume, for both Shulamis and Gilah is very much about the transformative power of art and poesis – making living things with words and images. There is much pain in these stories, still more in the excerpts from Shulamis’ intimate diary and Gilah’s reflections – the pain of separation, rejection, injury and loss – but also moments of great joy and transcendence.” – Excerpt from Foreward by Laurence J. Kirmayer, MD
The Traveling Exhibition 2005-2009
…has been shown in Bratislava, Komarno, Kiev, Kracow and Budapest. The work highlighted in this exhibition ranges from the intense paintings of the late nineties, the Diamond Series, in which Hirsch visualizes her intricate internal injuries from a near-fatal car crash on a remote island in the Pacific; to the Patince Series, painted in Slovakia during a residency at the International Artists’ Symposium in 2004, in which she delves into nature’s more mystical imagery; to the Column Series, documenting another evolution of her latest fertile flow of imagery that grew out of concentrated sessions in her Venice studio in 2005.
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