Jewish Museum Berlin || Exhibition: No Compromises! The Art of Boris Lurie || until 31.07.2016

The Jewish Museum Berlin is dedicating a major retrospective show to Boris Lurie and his radical artistic examination of the 20th century. Lurie is an artist who demanded political relevance from art and the art market. His much-discussed and controversial works accuse society of shirking coming to terms with its crimes against humanity by packing evidence of them between advertising and everyday banalities.

His collages confront the viewer with the experience of persecution and prison camp in the Nazi era, provoking “horror and fascination” (Volkhard Knigge). For Lurie’s work reveals disgust toward a humanity that proved itself capable of exiling and murdering millions as well as revulsion against a self-satisfied art market more interested in financial profit than in artistic expression.

His drawings, however, strike a different tone. In “War Series” of 1946, Lurie created an initial inventory of his own experience of persecution and camp imprisonment during the Nazi regime while his “Dancehall Series” of the 1950s and 60s depicts poetic images of his time.

Lurie’s Life

Boris Lurie was born in 1924 as son to a Jewish family in Leningrad, grew up in Riga, and with his father survived the Stutthof and Buchenwald concentration camps. His mother, grandmother, younger sister, and childhood sweetheart were murdered in 1941 in a mass shooting. These experiences left a lasting impression on Boris Lurie’s life.

In 1946, he immigrated to New York. In 1959, he founded the “NO!art” movement with a group of artist friends set against Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art, but especially opposed to the economization of art and devoted to political issues such as racism, sexism, and consumerism.
Boris Lurie died in New York on 7 January 2008.

 

Source: Jewish Museum Berlin

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