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Paintings, Drawings, Photomontages, Sculptures
Curated by James Cavello
| 568 Broadway | New York
June 4 - July 17, 2010
Information +++ Publication HOUSE OF ANITA
News item +++ About the Gallery
Remember Boris Lurie's NO!art STATEMENTS

INFORMATION: Westwood Gallery, NYC in collaboration with Boris Lurie Art Foundation is pleased to present an exhibition of paintings, drawings, photomontage and sculpture by Boris Lurie (1924-2008), co-founder of the NO!art movement. The exhibition, beginning June 4, 2010 includes 40 works of art which define early influences leading to Lurie’s expression against the celebrated consumerism of Pop and Abstract Expressionism. Accompanied by a catalogue, the exhibition comprises the first solo early retrospective of this fascinating artist since his death in 2008. NO!art began in 1959, co-founded by artists Sam Goodman (1919-1967) and Stanley Fisher (1926-1980).

The exhibition provides a view of Lurie’s artwork beginning in 1946. This was the year after surviving four years in several concentration camps, alongside his father -- a simmering indication of the shocking artwork to come. Much of Lurie’s focus is on women, from charcoal drawings to dismembered female forms and distorted pin-ups incorporated into collages. His thought process is revealing considering his devastating memories of the murder of his grandmother, mother and sister during the Holocaust. Lurie moved to New York in 1946 where he was disenchanted by his view of ‘the hypocritical art scene’ and used his creativity to freely express political, social, psychological, personal, visceral and esoteric artwork. NO!art was largely rejected by art critics, museums and collectors, until the artists and artwork of NO!art became more understood and accepted in the art world. In the early post-war period, artwork by NO!art artists evoked negative reactions from viewers who were disturbed by the imagery or connotation they perceived. Whereas, Lurie and the NO!art artists were more concerned with freedom to express highly charged imagery. In 1970, Lurie wrote a statement for an exhibition in Germany The time for Yes-art is not at all at hand. Who knows? Maybe NO!art's time is yet to come.

Lurie’s artwork has been exhibited at Weimar-Buchenwald Memorial, Germany, Block Museum, Evanston, IL, Iowa Museum of Art, Iowa City, IA, and other museums and galleries in the U.S., Israel and Germany. Two film documentaries were completed on Boris Lurie, NO!art Man by Amikam Goldman, 2002, and Shoah and Pin-Ups: The NO!-Artist Boris Lurie, 2007. Both films explore the life and creation of the artist. A recent Profile in ARTnews, April 2010, focuses on Mr. Lurie’s legacy and the Boris Lurie Art Foundation. The Boris Lurie Art Foundation is dedicated to preserving and exhibiting the artwork of Boris Lurie and the NO!art artists.

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HOUSE OF ANITA | Novel by Boris Lurie
Publisher: Westwood Gallery, New York 2010

The Boris Lurie Art Foundation announces the first publication of House of Anita, a novel by Boris Lurie. Copies will be available at the opening of the first exhibition of Lurie's work since his death in 2008. Boris Lurie worked on the composition of House of Anita from the seventies almost up to the end of his life. It is his Ecce homo. In the guise of an S/M novel, if a quite surreal and absurd S/M novel, the work attempts to come to terms with the circumstances of his traumatic youth interned at the Nazi death camps at Buchenwald and elsewhere, while exploring the meaning of the life of the artist and the place of art in the post-Holocaust world and railing against the degradation of art by the art market. Though not strictly speaking an allegory, and certainly not simply autobiography cloaked in leather and chains, House of Anita does employ the philosophy and vocabulary of a highly specialized mode of experience, the world of organized sadomasochism, to depict and examine the life of the camps as well as the “ordinary” post-Holocaust world. In tone and sensibility the work falls in the lineage of Alfred Jarry, Franz Kafka, and Kathy Acker.

Theodor Adorno famously remarked, “To write poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric.” Lurie stands among the great artists, figures such as Tadeusz Borowski, Primo Levi, and Paul Célan, who have responded in art to the greatest inhumanity ever perpetrated and shown just what poetry after Auschwitz might be, and why it must be. In the battle for the soul and humanity of art, Lurie was a hero of the resistance, forever struggling against compromise, indifference, perversion and co-optation. House of Anita is painful autobiography and acid social criticism rendered transcendent by his art.

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Boris Lurie: 'NO!art, An Exhibition of Early Work'
Best in Show art recommendations By Robert Shuster
in: The Village Voice, New York, Tuesday, Jun 22 2010

In his notorious Railroad Collage, Boris Lurie pasted a bare-assed pinup girl onto an image of Holocaust victims dumped on a flatcar. As co-founder of the anti-establishment No!art group, he helped stage (among other acts intended to disgust) the 1964 Shit Show. A survivor of Nazi death camps, and an artist incensed by trendy pop, Lurie (who died in 2008) had reasons to be angry, and he poured frustrations of all kinds into his work. So it may come as a surprise to find that his early efforts here offer a great deal of charm.

Figures drawn in the late 1940s, rendered with expressionistic primitivism, appear like haunting memories of the Latvia the artist left behind. In an exquisite watercolor, a man and woman frolic in a magical light reminiscent of Chagall. A colorful 1971 silkscreen layering magazine ads and old-fashioned porn is like a Rauschenberg combine, but slicker. All that rage-fueled provocation too often obscured a genuine talent.


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ABOUT: WESTWOOD GALLERY, established in 1995 in NYC, focuses on contemporary artists from the 1960s through today, including downtown artists, Bowery Arts District, historic photography, and secondary market artwork. Other projects include an award-winning documentary environmental film, site-specific installations, international art collaborations, museum loans and non-profit philanthropic activities. more

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