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Landscapes of Jewish Experience: Paintings by Samuel Bak
Lawrence L. Langer

Although all art requires active involvement, Holocaust art is especially demanding. Memory is a crucial catalyst in this process. The lack of human figures in most of Bak's forsaken landscapes will be a mystery only to those who ignore the incandescent shimmer that so often ripples through their atmosphere, or the sinister smokestacks that rise like accusing fingers from a barren terrain. An unholy glow is all that lingers from millions of bodies consumed by fire. Among other possibilities, these paintings are dramatic bulwarks against amnesia. They are reminders of a sacred past, criminally besieged, and crowded with emblems of a ravaged civilization. They contain fragments of a giant jigsaw puzzle called Creation that burden viewers with the task of retrieving its missing pieces, while leaving them wondering whether those pieces may not have been lost forever.

1997, Pucker Art Publications and Brandeis University
Slip cased hardcover measuring 12 x 10”
125 pages with full color images
ISBN: 0-9635318-2-4