Exhibition of Boris Lurie. Transitory room, Universal Art building, San Rafael street between Zulueta and Monserrate, Old Havana. October 2017 - January 2018

At a time when the orb is constantly convulsed by acts of atrocious barbarism, Boris Lurie's work strengthens its validity. This artist, a victim of the Nazi Holocaust, put all his creativity at the service of a strongly committed art; for him, artistic praxis had to question any scourge that would attack human dignity. In this way, as a common thread that gives coherence to an interesting corpus created over a little more than four decades, the critique of fascism stands as a constant in its production. The crimes suffered and witnessed in the concentration camps reappear in the different series through chilling images taken from the press. He often juxtaposes them, precisely to draw attention to this sad chapter in the history of humanity, provocative pin-up girls, a resource that allows him to deconstruct the myth of the American Way of Life. And rather than establishing a dialogue, what seems to happen in the pieces of this nature, in the most stark way possible, is the struggle of opposites promoted by the Cold War - a moment of great creative effervescence for Lurie.

With the exhibition "Boris Lurie in Habana", the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (Universal Art building), besides having the honor of being the first Latin American institution to exhibit the funds of the Boris Lurie Art Foundation, makes it possible for the public to make a journey through the vast and solid career of one of the founders of the contestant and counter-cultural movement No! art, which is still quite unknown today due to the rejection that for decades caused in art critics, museums and collectors. This is easily understandable if one considers that Lurie's different way of conceiving and executing the artistic object constituted a clear reaction against "the level of finishing of the works of the minimalists, and the hedonistic and sophisticated forms of pop artists"[1], and thus a frontal confrontation with the tendencies legitimized at that time by the Art Institution. Thus, his paintings, drawings, photomontages and sculptures not only invite us to reconsider the (pre-)established aesthetic values, but also the ethical ones. Can we take up the challenge?

[1] Jorge Fernández. “Boris Lurie: a misfit to the establishment of the art”. In: Boris Lurie in Havana (Catalog). Havana, National Museum of Fine arts, 22 of September-19 of November, 2017, p, 16.