Landscapes of Jewish Experience: Paintings by Samuel Bak

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Landscapes of Jewish Experience: Paintings by Samuel Bak

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Essay by Lawrence L. Langer

 

 

Although all art requires active involvement, Holocaust art is especially demanding. Memory is a crucial catalyst in this process. The lack of human figures in most of Samuel Bak's forsaken landscapes will be a mystery only to those who ignore the incandescent shimmer that so often ripples through their atmosphere, or the sinister smokestacks that rise like accusing fingers from a barren terrain. An unholy glow is all that lingers from millions of bodies consumed by fire. Among other possibilities, these paintings are dramatic bulwarks against amnesia. They are reminders of a sacred past, criminally besieged, and crowded with emblems of a ravaged civilization. They contain fragments of a giant jigsaw puzzle called Creation that burden viewers with the task of retrieving its missing pieces, while leaving them wondering whether those pieces may not have been lost forever.

  • Published by Pucker Art Publications, Boston, MA, 1997
  • and Brandeis University Press, Waltham, MA
  • Slip-cased hardcover book, 12 x 10"
  • 125 pages with full color images
  • ISBN: 0-9635318-2-4
  • Price: $50.00
  • Shipping: $10.00

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