28.5.13

Samuel Bak: Painting Questions


Artworks by Samuel Bak, painter born in Vilna, Poland, in 1933.

Bak is a survivor of WWII. In his work, memory occupies a central place. In Bak's imagery the past continues, and coexists with the present. Both interact in his oeuvre. Bak paints the history. His history. The history of his people. But that isn't all. He also cultivates the art of questioning. He confronts historical evidence and brings back to life most relevant issues. He asks questions to himself too. Moreover, he inscribes multiple question marks on the very fundamentals of the world to which he belongs.

What have I in common with Jews? I have hardly anything in common with myself. —Franz Kafka (Diaries II, 1914-24, January 8, 1914).


Cornerstones

Source of Energy

Evidence

Yellow Sky

Temple of Learning

Persistence

Roots

Destinies

Remnants

Personal Corner

In the Old Streets

Roof Top

Green Shul

Promise

Under One Flag

Reconstruction

Still Life with Ego

Loaded

Artworks selection and sequence is by Mariano Akerman. Ref. Identity; alienation; uneasiness with the Jewish heritage; quintessential Jewish art.

Resources
• Samuel Bak, Speaking about the Unspeakable (lecture, Strasbourg, 2002), Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, University of Minnesota, 21.8.2012
• Yehudit Shendar, Samuel Bak: An Arduous Road, Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, 26.5.2013
The Pucker Gallery, Boston, Massachusetts, 24.5.2013
• Lawrence L. Langer, Introduction to Illuminations, Newton, Massachusetts, 25.5.2010
Samuel Bak's Paintings, Facing History and Ourselves, Brookline, Massachusetts, 24.5.2013

El presente trabajo posee también una versión en español, Bak, pintor de interrogantes, 27.5.2013

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