The Art of Samuel Bak
This three-part exhibition explores landscape, object, and person through Samuel Bak’s themes of loss and the Jewish dictate of tikkun olam (“repair of the world”). Bak’s work is born of catastrophe. His canvases are filled with artifacts and ruins of Jewish life, images of Greek mythology, and childhood objects—all presented in fragments half-buried in the ground, hovering above water, or floating across a desolate landscape. These represent pieces and parts of lives lost, memories reconstructed and time interrupted.
Time, in Samuel Bak’s art, moves both horizontally and vertically, there is no chronological progression here. Rather, his work transports us to a world imagined only in our mind’s eye, reminding us of the inability to fully comprehend the massive loss of the Holocaust, and inviting us to summon the strength to confront current atrocities, which we have not outlived.