Exhibit Expresses Artist’s Holocaust Experience

Mar 16, 2016


“Sanctuary” by Samuel Bak is among the works exhibited                "Unexpected Visitors" by Samuel Bak.
in The Art of Samuel Bak” at The Hope Horn Gallery at
The University of Scranton April 1 through April29.

The surrealistic works by Polish Holocaust survivor and internationally renowned artist Samuel Bak will be on display April 1 to April 29 at The University of Scranton’s Hope Horn Gallery.

Through a career that spans more than 50 years, Bak studied and presented paintings throughout Europe, Israel and the United States. His art explores issues of history, identity, justice, destruction and rebuilding.

Hope Horn Gallery Director Darlene Miller-Lanning, Ph.D., said Bak used painting as a way to process the world in which he grew up that was suddenly lost.
“(T)hese paintings are a visual statement born of an ever-growing need to deal with my experience of having come through the horrors of the Holocaust, and of having done it by age 11,” said Bak in the Artist’s Response for The Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at the University of Minnesota about a collection of his works dealing with the Holocaust. He said these works “are a response to the miracle of my survival,” explaining that the images “have matured over a long span of time. Was this indelible experience the sole inspiration for these canvases? I can't say. The creative process is a matter of such complexity that conscious intentions often eclipse subconscious needs.”

His work is the subject of the documentary film “The Art of Speaking About the Unspeakable.” Bak has also written a memoir about his work, “Painted in Words,” which was published by Indiana University Press in 2001.

Dr. Miller-Lanning will introduce the exhibit, titled “Illuminations: The Art of Samuel Bak,” at a lecture on Friday, April 1, at 5 p.m. in the Pearn Auditorium of Brennan Hall. A public reception will follow at the Hope Horn Gallery in Hyland Hall at 6 p.m. The lecture and exhibit are open to the public free of charge.

The collection is co-sponsored by the Judaic Studies Program at the University, the Pucker Gallery of Boston and Facing History and Ourselves of Brookline, Massachusetts.

For more information, contact Dr. Miller-Lanning at 570-941-4214 or darlene.miller-lanning@scranton.edu.

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