The Samuel Bak Gallery and Learning Center in Loving Memory of Hope Silber Kaplan at the Holocaust Museum Houston is a destination for a richly diverse general public, the country’s academic community, and Holocaust
scholars from around the world. Bak’s legacy at HMH is demonstrated through 125 incredibly complex, memory-inciting, and dramatically hued paintings, generously donated to the museum by the artist. The collection contains early paintings he made as a child prodigy in the Vilna Ghetto, works created throughout his early career, and paintings from the twenty-first century. Pears, landscapes, dice, candles, religious iconography, letters of the Hebrew alphabet, musicians, cups, faces and figures, books, buildings, ships, objects so often broken and in disrepair. Through these symbols, Bak paints into being eternal questions about life, loss, love, identity, repair, and responsibility. Viewers grapple with the dilemmas of fathoming the past and making sense of life in the complex world we share. In this publication, which accompanies the exhibit, Holocaust scholar Lawrence L. Langer unpacks and gives context to Bak’s dense visual vocabulary. An extensive interview with the artist discusses his process and speaks specifically about each work in the collection.
Distributed for Pucker Art Publications
8.5 x 11, 208 pages, 125 illustrations illustrations