Boris Lurie


Boris Lurie (1924–2008) was an American artist. In his much-discussed and controversial works, he demanded more political relevance from art. In a radical language, he criticized what he considered to be superficial art, which avoided dealing with drastic themes such as war and violence.

Boris Lurie was born in 1924 to a Jewish family in Leningrad, grew up in Riga, and with his father survived the Stutthof and Buchenwald concentration camps. His mother, grandmother, younger sister, and childhood sweetheart were murdered in 1941 in a mass shooting. These experiences left a lasting impression on Boris Lurie's life.

In 1946, he immigrated to New York. In 1959, he founded the NO!art movement with a group of artist friends set against Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art, but especially opposed to the economization of art and devoted to political issues such as racism, sexism, and consumerism.

Boris Lurie died in New York on 7 January 2008.

Black and white portrait of Boris Lurie standing in his studio

Boris Lurie in his studio, 1957; Boris Lurie Art Foundation, New York – Photo: Betty Holiday

Cilly Kugelmann, head curator of our core exhibition, tells the story of the postcard-sized work Entebee by Boris Lurie and explains what makes it so valuable to the JMB collection; Jewish Museum Berlin 2020

Share, Newsletter, Feedback