The Great Americans: Works by Jac Lahav


Jac Lahav

October 6 - December 15, 2018

Opening: October 6, 2018

“Jac Lahav’s monochromatic and stylistic layering of concepts and painting techniques is masterful.”
Tiffany Nolan Jehorek, Executive Director/Curator

The Great Americans: Works by Jac Lahav explores identity, history and pop culture in 29 full-length portraits. The series, which references a 2005 Discovery Channel show, “The Greatest American” asked US citizens to vote for the greatest American. Oprah Winfrey was voted into the Top Ten eliminating medical researcher and virologist, Jonas Salk, the discoverer and developer of one of the first successful polio vaccines.

Lahav combines the concept of celebrity and image consumption versus achievements and contributions. Does fame play a role in how history sees America’s historical figures? Does history do justice for the people portrayed in this exhibition? How do we reconcile the famous Americans’ celebrity status with their achievements? Lahav plays with notions of group identity, individual identity, personal biographies, factual biographies, how clothing reflects identity, fashion, and celebrity. All these ideas come together in this unique series.

About the Artist

Jac Lahav

Artist’s Bio:

Artist, writer, and curator, Abshalom Jac Lahav is best known for his unique style of portraiture. Born in Jerusalem, Israel in 1977, Lahav’s family moved to the United States when he was four. Lahav studied psychology at Wesleyan University and received his Bachelor of Arts in 2000. After this, he studied painting before earning his Master of Fine Arts from Brooklyn College in 2008.

Visually stunning through scale, composition, and use of color, Lahav often presents his audience with an unreadable representation of his subjects. By creating a sense of ambiguity and uncertainty, Lahav questions what is known and what is unknown, notions of personal and political, and what is abstract and what is representational.

Lahav is also known for his series 48 Jews. Both exhibits have shown at museums such as Richmond Art Museum, Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, The Oregon Jewish Museum and Jewish Museum of Florida. He is the founder of the Midnight Society, an artist-run curatorial project based in Brooklyn, New York.

Artist Website:

The Exhibit