Expressing the Inexpressible: Surrealist Art after the Holocaust

Artists of the East European Jewish Diaspora in Israel

Alek D. Epstein

ISBN 978-5-93273-450-6

This book reveals the stories of nine Jewish artists who survived the Holocaust. All of them lived at least half a century after World War II was over; five of them are still alive. Each of them 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. Despite the fact that surrealist art has millions of enthusiasts all over the world, the contribution of Jewish and Israeli artists is still not recognized.

This album presents magnificent works by surrealist artists who survived the Holocaust.

The book that covers lives and legacy of Jewish artists who were inspired mostly by the aesthetics of post-impressionism and expressionism was published a year ago.

It is our belief that both books 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 Modern and Contemporary Art, Dr. Alek D. Epstein, historian and sociologist, an acknowledged expert in the fields of East European Jewish and Israeli art.

We believe that our second 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”.

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