Jonathan Hertzel - Artist.

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The two-part Signs of Life is the sculptor’s response to this story. Falling Man shows Levi is falling from the carriage and falling into the earth. In the Bishop's Eye, Jean-Baptiste Lamy sees the fallen Spiegelberg. The figure of Levi is pulled back from his possible grave in the tiny sod hut by Lamy’s expedition. Levi, Jewish merchant saved by the future Archbishop of Santa Fe. Human beings save other human beings and compassion triumphs. Like the other pieces in this exhibition, there is a conscious contemporary reference. Falling Man cannot be mentioned in 2018 without the searing image of the same name from 9/11 of another man who wasn’t saved despite the massive, selfless acts of so many first responders.  It is also fate — or chance. It is perhaps only kindness that can save us from cruelty and bloodshed. In the same way that chance can shift a response in a dancer, chance can change the story of a family. Hertzel was drawn back to Santa Fe through stories and family pictures. But perhaps it was just the meeting of Levi and Lamy on the side of the rough Santa Fe Trail; a concrete moment but, like the artist’s sculptures “rooted in motion, transition and passage.”




Bishop's Eye

Aline Brandauer

Santa Fe, 2018

Copyright @Aline Brandauer 2018

  1. Hertzel interview with Joseph Skibell 2017
  2. Merce Cunningham. Retrieved from
  3.  Hertzel interview with Joseph Skibell 2017
  4.  Hertzel, interview with the author, 2018



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