The exhibition Boris Lurie: Nothing To Do But To Try presented a portrait of an artist reckoning with devastating trauma, haunting memories, and an elusive, lifelong quest for freedom. Here is one of his works that was on view:

"In Concentration Camp" by Boris Lurie, 1971
Boris Lurie, “In Concentration Camp,” 1971. Oil on canvas. 50 1/4 x 49 1/4 in, (127.6 x 125.1 cm). Courtesy of the Boris Lurie Art Foundation.

“Hate demands relief,” Lurie wrote in 1960. “Hate demands a victim, and if hate cannot be exteriorized it will find the object of an attack, the victim in oneself. Expressionism in painting is mainly an outlet for hate.”

Lurie made this monumental square canvas 25 years after his early works deemed the “War Series,” but this painting shares thematic and stylistic elements. Electric colors diffuse the blue sky, green barracks, and infernal orange-red landscape while the human figures are colorless and ghostly; they diminish in detail from foreground to background. Large drips of paint, like tears or spilled blood, interrupt the vacant, frontal stares of the three foremost figures.

Visit the Boris Lurie: Nothing To Do But To Try exhibition page to learn more about Boris Lurie and the exhibit. 

Boris Lurie: Nothing To Do But To Try was made possible by The Knapp Family Foundation, Patricia Askwith Kenner & Family, and other generous donors.
Boris Lurie Art Foundation logo
Special thanks to the Boris Lurie Art Foundation for its commitment to this presentation.