“Art After the Shoah” – Exhibition @ Ludwig Museum – Museum of Contemporary Art – Budapest.

LURIE. BLAF01238_b

The exhibition Art after the Shoah brings together two artists who understood each other on both an artistic and human level in their efforts not to forget the injustice and crimes against the Jews. They first met at a Fluxus happening in Long Island in 1964, at a time when consumerism was unfolding and international relations were on the rise, where they mutually discovered each other through the radical, drastic and sometimes disturbing expression of their art.

Boris Lurie, born in Leningrad, immigrated with his family to Latvia in 1925, which the Nazis invaded in 1941 and killed all the women in his family, lived through several stays in concentration camps, but was finally able to emigrate to the USA with his father in 1946. Here he experienced his inner immigration, which, however, expressed itself for a few years in radical, mostly collage-like works and which motivated him to found NO!Art as a visible protest against superficiality and consumer maximization, which several artists joined. His friendship with Wolf Vostell, which began in 1964, is based on Vostell’s understanding and lifelong commitment to confronting the pogroms and, above all, often adopting the dress and habitus of Orthodox Jews himself in outward appearance. Unlike Lurie, however, the context of the post-1945 period with its current events was a great inspiration for Vostell, repeatedly relating them to Nazi crimes. Thus, works were created that – similar to Lurie – often used the collage technique as a field of association in order to illustrate the inner link between the death strip along the Berlin Wall and the Nazi extermination camps, or modern media technology with the propaganda machinery of Nazi rule. In his work, Vostell always sought to make visible the major political and social mechanisms that, despite the apparent “new times” and democratic consensus, were not so different from the workings of the Nazi regime.

Both artists thus reflected the dangerous delusion of a society through prosperity and upswing, to which – from their point of view – art also succumbed. The exhibition brings together these two important artists for the first time and focuses on the period between 1946 and 1998.

Curator: Prof. Dr. Beate REIFENSCHEID –  Director – Ludwig Museum – Koblenz , Assistant Curator: Jan ELANTKOWSKI – curator – Ludwig Múzeum – Budapest, Consultant: Rafael VOSTELL – Director – The Wolf Vostell Estate – Berlin & Senior Advisor – Boris Lurie Art Foundation – New York .

The exhibition is a collaboration between the Boris Lurie Foundation, the Wolf Vostell Estate, and the Kunstmuseum Den Haag. The exhibition was shown at the Kunstmuseum Den Haag, the Kunsthaus Dahlem and the Ludwig Museum Koblenz.

Press release

Update by Aggie Reiter

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