Expressionism of Tragedy and Revival

Artists of the East European Jewish Diaspora after the Holocaust

Alek D. Epstein

ISBN 978-5-93273-448-3

This book reveals the stories of twelve Jewish artists who survived the Holocaust. All of them lived for decades after World War II was over.

Each of them remained active for at least another quarter-century and created a number of unforgettable paintings – and their works proved that Nazi persecution did not break them.

Despite all the horrors they had to suffer, they never gave up their endless love of life and their creative spirit, but still, they must be considered to be Holocaust victims.

The Jewish Society for the Encouragement of the Plastic Arts views it as a goal to help the public to rediscover these artists who were mostly born in the Russian empire, but later lived and worked in other countries, where they had to move, or where they spent their last years.

This book presents the lives and legacy of Jewish artists who were inspired mostly by the aesthetics of post-impressionism and expressionism. Additionally, an album of the works by post-Holocaust surrealism masters is scheduled to be published soon.

It is our belief that both books will present an unprecedentedly comprehensive overview of the Eastern European Jewish art of the middle and second half of the 20th century, created by painters who lived and worked after World War II in different countries on different continents, and whose artistic contribution has only been appreciated in their local context.

We express our special gratitude to the author of the book, chairperson of the Jerusalem-based Center for Research in Contemporary Art, Dr. Alek D. Epstein, an acknowledged expert on the history of the State of Israel, as well as the Israeli and East European Jewish art.

We believe that our book will appeal to a wide audience of readers who appreciate the history and culture of the Jewish people.

The Jewish Society for the Encouragement of the Plastic Arts, reestablished a hundred years after its dissolution, values the continuity of tradition, started by its founders, great masters of Jewish art, such as Marc Chagall, Nathan Altman, and Boris Anisfeld, and others – and today, it considers as its key mission to
“express the national self-consciousness through artistic forms that resonate with the spirit of our time”.