Esther Podemski
A Monument A Study

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The oil paintings on cigar box lids began as a response to a small show of anonymous Tantric paintings shown in 2005 in the library of the Ecole Nationale Superieure Des Beaux-Arts While not a practitioner of this form of meditation, Esther was drawn to idea that a painting could be an object for contemplation. Monks who often painted on found disposable surfaces and carried their pictures from place to place. Podemski has saved cigar boxes for many years and finally decided to paint on the lids. The scale and worn fugitive material of the cigar box lids provide the perfect scale for my own exploration of a single meditative form and the emotive power of color.

Esther Podemski is also a filmmaker and while completing the post-production work on her last film, The Peasant and the Priest, she discovered how the color correction software program could influence her paintings on cigar box lids. The new shapes originated as screen grabs from color corrections of individual frames in the post-production computer software. The source for these images comes from film footage frames of a priest on a Florence street at night; he is ministering to women who have been trafficked to Italy to work as sex slaves. Podemski transforms these still frames so that the figures and narrative are no longer visible; the imagery becomes geometric abstraction.

Esther Podemski is a filmmaker and visual artist whose works have been exhibited in galleries, film festivals and academic venues. House of the World, her documentary about the aftermath of the Holocaust, was shot in Poland and has been showcased in European and American art centers and festivals, including Human Rights Watch International Film Festival, Lincoln Center, and Los Angeles International Jewish Film Festival. Discovery Communication and Jewish Broadcast Network purchased the film for broadcast. Podemski has exhibited her paintings in the Pacific Northwest and in New York City. Her grants include the New York State Council on the Arts, The Jerome Foundation, The Soros Foundation, The Memorial Foundation For Jewish Culture, and the Yaddo Residency Program. She has taught graduate and undergraduate courses at Parsons School of Design in New York, Pacific Northwest College of Art, and Sarah Lawrence College. Recent exhibitions include 5 Days in July; a two-screen projection that revisits the Newark riots of 1967. This work has exhibited at numerous museums, galleries, and festivals. It won the director’s choice award at the Black Maria Film Festival and the jury award for the best short at The Langston Hughes African American Film Festival.
Esther Podemski
Creation Year
Oil Paint
Found Objects
Movement & Style
Abstract Expressionist
2.5 in. H x 9 in. W x 6 in. D
Dealer Location
Brooklyn, NY
Number of Items
Reference Number
About The Seller
229 Cook Street
Brooklyn NY 11206
(203) 601-6247
1stdibs Gallery since 2015 Located in Brooklyn, NY