About: Samuel Bak
He was born in Vilna in 1933. When World War II began, Bak was sent with his family to the Vilna Ghetto where he exhibited his first paintings, he was 9 years old at the time. He immigrated to Israel in 1948 with his mother and began studying at the Bezalel Academy of Art. In 1952, Bak completed his studies at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He began developing his familiar artistic style - figurative surrealism - when he lived in Italy between 1959 and 1966.
The Holocaust is an essential and central part of his paintings i which he creates a surrealistic language that describes fragil occurrences and dreamy and impossible situations, as this type of art stream requires. For decades now, he paints between six and eight hours a day. During this incessant work he has built a reservoir of images that keep appearing in many variations and by now have become his art’s earmarks, in which the whole reality becomes a frozen still life. His work deals with memories of the Holocaust, but in fact it hovers beyond the documentation of memory or dealing with art as a treatment for post-trauma.