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TO MARCH 29, 2001
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The first story I ever read by Isaac Bashevis Singer was “Gimpel the Fool,” a short piece, which- on the surface- details the life of a simple man. In Singer’s hands, however, this short story turns into a full-fledged fable, where the fool is much wiser than the wise men, and the moral still reverberates with readers even ninety years after it was written. In “An Artist’s Homage to Isaac Bashevis Singer,” Italian-born painter Lillo Bartoloni steps up to rectify one of the most disappointing facts of Singer’s (and all) adult literature: no pictures. Bartoloni’s technique in oil and acrylic is inspired, as in all good homages, by the author’s style of writing. He juxtaposes bright, blocky colors with wavering pencil-thin lines and a flat perspective (In My Father’s Court is pictured)—a style of childlike simplicity, which, like in Singer’s stories, is a facade, only serving to accentuate the tale being told. Bartoloni’s paintings are exuberant displays of literary adoration—a gleeful study of the works of not only a favorite writer, but a mentor. A labor of love indeed. Bartolini’s tribute is on view Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Monday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., to Thursday, March 29, 2001, at the District of Columbia Jewish Community Center, 1529 16th St. NW. Free. (202) 518-9400. (Lisa Locker)