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February 01, 1985 - Image 15

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1985-02-01

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Friday, February 1, 1985

15

Benyas-Kaufman



Taking a few moments from his hectic schecule, Jack Robinson relaxes at home.

Jack and Aviva
Robinson have melded
personal goals
to climb
to the top of
their chosen careers

it to the Rubiner Gallery and they
gave me a show right away."
For her first Rubiner show in
1972, Aviva "started doing landscapes
and flowers as-well as abstracts com-
posed from aerial views."' After a trip
to Africa, she did a 1974 Rubiner show
based on her trip. "After that, I really
got abstract," she says. "I started with
transparent colors and that was al-
ways a fascination. I was layering
colors and transparencies by the time
of my 1976 Rubiner showing, using
tape to block off and create hard edges.
A lot of that is still present in my work
today.
"Up to 1974 I did a lot of playing
with these hard edges against soft
watercolor washes. Then I began a
transitional period which lead to my
painting landscapes with the sponge-
and-tape technique on a hard edge. In
1976, I won my first major prize: the

Johns-Manville Award in the Rocky
Mountains National Watercolor
Show.
"For the next few years I got even
more abstract and more polished in
terms of the blending of colors. Then in
1979 I did a whole show of circle paint-
ings — paintings involving circular
shapes. I had already decided that I
had done everything I possibly could
with flat surfaces, but I didn't want to
abandon the technique because no one
else was doing anything with it. So I
started layering, going back to the old
college technique I had started with in
the beginning. I started layering pap-
ers and creating shadows with the
layered papers. When I started getting
entranced with the shadows, I started
sandwiching things in between to
make the shadows deeper — like bits
of board and so on, so that I could
create some nice deep shadows."

Then came another development
period where Aviva started folding the
Papers. She says it was then that "I
started to want to get out of the plexig-
lass boxy paintings. I wanted to be able
to get away from the rectangular for-
mat. I wanted to be able to get more
dimensional than the four-inch depth
would allow. So I started experiment-
ing with laminating in constructing
the paper. I began to experiment with
methods of making the paper more
rigid, more permanent." The result
was evident at Aviva's 1984 Rubiner
showing which closed in November.
She had 21 pieces at the shoW and says
she "did well."

Aviva works at home, in a studio
with a magnificent view of the lake.
She keeps a large "ghetto blaster" in
the studio, but it is set at WQRS, a soft
music station. Can Aviva Robinson

find peace and tranquility in these
placid surroundings
"Every so often I get mad about
working at home and being inter-
rupted," she says, and I talk to people
about going out there (to a studio out-
side of her home, possibly in a Pontiac
storefront) although I don't need to at
all. I did it when the kids were home
because I had to — they wouldn't let
me work.
"And Jack is a lot neater than I
am. That's one of the things we've been
fighting about for 32 years. He likes
things fixed and working so there are
always repairmen around, and I just
don't care. When they (the repairmen)
bother me a lot, I threaten to leave."
Last year, Aviva was commis-
sioned by U.S. Representative Sander
Levin's re-election campaign to create
a limited edition print (of 150) which
was given to contributors '-of $250. It
was the first print she had done and
the small remainder of the strike will
be sold nationally by the Rubiner Gal-
lery. The Robinsons are strong suppor-
ters of both Sander Levin and his
brother, Senator Carl Levin, as well as
of Congressman Bob Carr.
But Jack Robinson is also known
for his involvement in Jewish com-
munal affairs. "The community has
done a lot for me," he says, "and I re-
ciprocate. At the age of five, I was tak-
ing from the community through the
old North End Clinic on Holbrook. I
used to go down there for my allergy
treatment. Before long, I was doing
things for the community. I became
involved with the Allied Jewish Cam-
paign when I was 19 and a student at
Wayne. One of the leaders of the
pharmacy department came to call
upon us at the School of Pharmacy. I
was the largest donor — I gave $3, the
others gave $1 each — and so I was
asked to chair the campaign in the
pharmacy school the following year."
From the Allied Jewish Cam-
paign, it- was only a few short steps to
Robinson's involvement on behalf of
the Jewish Family Service, the Feder-
ation Apartments, the Detroit Service
Group of the Jewish Welfare Federa-

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