current and upcoming exhibitions and events

Altered Man

The Art of Boris Lurie
 
6 September to 30 October 2019

 

 

Kyiv National Art Gallery, Shokoladnyi Budynok Art Center

6, Mykhaila Hrushevskoho St

Kyiv 

Ukraine
 

Altered Man is an important metaphor of the twentieth as well as the twenty-first centuries; of history and politics that try to erase and deface the individual. Boris Lurie (1924-2008), Soviet-born American non-conformist artist and writer, founder of the NO!art movement was one of the first to raise questions that had long been in the air: the disappearance of individuality, the entropy of personality – and thus of reality.

Boris Lurie’s art is deeply intertwined with the Holocaust. His Altered Man exhibit is a conversation about the end of metaphysics, which is “impossible after Auschwitz.” Lurie, a survivor of four concentration camps, believed that the only moral path in the context of the “total concentration camp” of modern reality is rebellion, and chose scathing criticism as his mode of expression. The vision of the world as both a concentration camp in which people ruthlessly destroy one another, and of the world as a brothel, in which people, particularly women, are objectified—this was the touchstone and the thread that runs through Lurie’s art.

Altered Man is a precise diagnosis of its time. The works presented in the exhibition can be seen as a Dadaistic gesture of destruction. The hated object or character is transformed and effaced. Evil in all its guises is neutralized by erasing it and removing it from the historical record.

Lurie’s art rebels against bourgeois values, be they moral, aesthetic or institutional, and instead stakes out a position of civic and personal liberty and independent expression. This is precisely why the current exhibition of Altered Man in Ukraine is a notable sign of the openness of contemporary Ukrainian society.

Boris Lurie Art & Dada Study Center. Janco Dada Museum in Ein Hod, Israel
NO!art exhibition at the JANCO-DADA Museum in Ein Hod, Israel on July 20th and opening of the BORIS LURIE & DADA STUDY CENTER

past exhibitions and events

 

BORIS LURIE Artist and Witness at Mark Rothko Centre Daugavpils, Latvia

April 26th - June 23rd. 2019

 

BORIS LURIE and NO!art at Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Koroska, Slovenj Gradec, Slovenia. On view until June 2, 2019

 

 

BORIS LURIE and NO!art

 

National Museum of Art Riga Bourse, Riga, Latvia

12.January - 10.March 2019

BORIS LURIE

Pop-art after the Holocaust

 

MOCAK

Museum of Contemporary Art Krakow

26.Oct.2018 - 03.Feb.2019

 

Boris Lurie (1924–2008) was an American artist, who was born into a Jewish family in Leningrad (today Saint Petersburg). He spent his childhood in Riga. In August 1941, the Germans began the deportation of the Jewish population to the ghetto. The artist’s mother, sister and grandmother as well as the artist’s teenage girlfriend were shot in the Rumbula forests on the outskirts of Riga in December 1941. The Rumbula massacre was one of the greatest atrocities to be carried out in the course of two days by the Einsatzkommandos, in which some 30,000 Jews were killed. Boris and his father found themselves in concentration camps in Stutthof, and then in Buchenwald, from which they were liberated in May 1945. Shortly after the war ended, they emigrated to the USA. Until the end of his life, the artist lived and worked in New York.

 

Lurie’s creative output encompassed many fields: he was a visual artist – creating paintings, installation and objects – as well as a writer and poet. His activity as he saw it was a form of protest against pop art and abstract expressionism – prevalent in the USA at the time. He did not care whether his art gained acclaim on the artworld market. Together with Stanley Fisher and Sam Goodman, he founded the NO!Art movement. To Lurie, “‘NO’ means not accepting everything that you are told and thinking of yourself. And it is also an expression of dissatisfaction.” His was art that was politically engaged and called for social action, art that was spontaneous, anarchic and therapeutic.

 

Boris Lurie was psychologically affected by the Holocaust and his art was irrevocably linked to that experience – a ceaseless attempt to work through the trauma of war. Lurie created a unique symbolic language, in which authenticity and emotional tension went beyond the accepted norms of what is deemed appropriate. The recurrent leitmotifs of his work are footage from concentration camps, the Star of David, snaps of pinup girls cut out from magazines and the word ‘NO’ – given prominence in many of his works.

 

The artist’s legacy – the majority of his works and archival material – are the property of the Boris Lurie Art Foundation in New York. The mission of the Foundation is to preserve and bring before the public the art of Boris Lurie, while making the viewers aware of the complex issues that were the impetus of these works.

© Boris Lurie Art Foundation. Text © MOCAK

 
 
 
BORIS LURIE IN HABANA
AT THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF ART HAVANA
October 6, 2017 - January 7, 2018
 
Exhibition catalog availabl
 

Now available: Exhibtion catalog New Museum Nuremberg, 2017

BORIS LURIE DER HOLOCAUST UND DAS PROBLEM DER VISUELLEN REPRÄSENTATION THE HOLOCAUST AND THE PROBLEM OF THE VISUAL REPRESENTATION von/from Prof. Dr. h. c. mult. Peter Weibel Dienstag, 23. Mai 2017, 19 Uhr Tuesday, May 23, 7.00 pm im Neues Museum
BORIS LURIE. ANTI-POP Exhibition view Neues Museum Nuremberg. March - June 2017
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© Rafael Vostell Art Trust