BORIS LURIE NO!art MAN
Documentary by Amikam Goldman, New York 1999-2001
16 mm color film | also on video tape | 82 minutes
Boris Lurie"NO!art Man" is a documentary film about the Russian born artist Boris Lurie, who has lived and worked in New York since 1946. This film is a portrait of one of the most radical minds in the New York art world from the early 1960's. For the most part, Lurie's works are powerful and troubling indictments of man's injustice to man. His photomontages of the late 1950's and early 1960's have been described as the most relevant and shocking images of the period. Today Lurie's images are as strong and relevant as when they were made. This film presents an artist who is still considered unknown to the general art audience.
Boris Lurie was born in 1924 in Leningrad, Russia and moved to Riga, Latvia in 1925, where he grew up. In 1941, the Germans entered Latvia. More than 90% of the Latvian Jewish community was lost during World War II. Boris and his father survived four years inside the Nazi camps and in 1946 immigrated to America to live in New York where Boris continued to paint, as he had done in Riga.
Lurie is a controversial artist. In his work, Lurie asks the viewers to confront bloody massacres, domination, political injustice and the Jewish holocaust. In the late 1950's he started to work on large collages, where he tore up war images and pasted them next to photographs of pin-up girls. Around 1958, Lurie formed a group of artists that exhibited together at the "March Gallery", a small space in an area known for cooperative galleries on 10th street in Manhattan. They put on shows by "themes", calling for political awareness and social involvement through works of art that criticize the culture. This "protest-art" was not accepted by the "American art establishment" of the time. Later, in the 1960's, they came to be known as the NO! Artists.
"NO!art Man" tells the life story of Boris Lurie as a young artist in New York after World War II through the years he was active with his NO!art Group and into the present. It documents the many striking transitions in his life, from being ignored by the art establishment, to increasing contemporary prominence, as when German artists showed an interest in his work and invited him to exhibit at the former East-German concentration camp Buchenwald, where he had been imprisoned. The film discusses both his initial loneliness in New York City, where he felt alienated, and current recognition as evidenced by a major retrospective which opened in Chicago, at the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University, in November 2001. This exhibition presented the work of Lurie and other NO!art artists for the first time in America, more then 35 years after their March Gallery installations.
The film is based on conversations between the director, Amikam Goldman, and Boris Lurie, from their first meeting in 1999 through 2001. The film also includes interviews with art historians, dealers, and artist friends of Boris Lurie.
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About AMIKAM GOLDMAN: He was born 1973 in Israel and grew up in Tel Aviv. He finished high school in "Irony Alef for the arts". In September 1995 he moved to the USA to study film making, first at the "Film & Television Workshops", in Maine and since 1996, when he moved to New York, at the "New School for Social Research", where in 2000 he finished his diploma in cinema studies. He worked for 6 years in the major video & music store "Kim’s Video", in NYC. Made his short film "One-Windows", in 1997, which won 2nd place at the Marin County Film Festival, California. In November 2003 Amikam returned to Israel and he lives in Tel Aviv. He teaches cinema in "Blich" high school. He created the first film documentary about the NO!art co-founder Boris Lurie under the title "NO!art MAN". — Lives in Tel Aviv. ►more