No Compromises!

The Art of Boris Lurie
26 February 2016 to 31 July 2016
Jewish Museum Berlin
Lindenstraße 9-14
Phone: +49 (0)30 259 93 300

The Jewish Museum Berlin is dedicating a major retrospective show to Boris Lurie and his radical artistic examination of the 20th century. Lurie is an artist who demanded political relevance from art and the art market. His much-discussed and controversial works accuse society of shirking coming to terms with its crimes against humanity by packing evidence of them between advertising and everyday banalities.

His collages confront the viewer with the experience of persecution and prison camp in the Nazi era, provoking "horror and fascination" (Volkhard Knigge). For Lurie’s work reveals disgust toward a humanity that proved itself capable of exiling and murdering millions as well as revulsion against a self-satisfied art market more interested in financial profit than in artistic expression. His drawings, however, strike a different tone. In "War Series" of 1946, Lurie created an initial inventory of his own experience of persecution and camp imprisonment during the Nazi regime while his "Dancehall Series" of the 1950s and '60s depicts poetic images of his time.

The exhibition is organized in cooperation and with the generous support of the Boris Lurie Art Foundation in New York.

Read translations from the German press

View video of installation:

Lurie's Life

Boris Lurie was born in 1924 as son 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.

Accompanying Program

The exhibition has a growing accompanying program:

The Art of Boris Lurie

Film Première 21 March 2016

The film director Rudij Bergmann first meets Boris Lurie in New York in 1996. This first encounter with the NO!art artist leaves a deep impression: "When I first met Boris Lurie in the semi-darkness of a hallway on 66th Street, I quickly recognized his longing for Europe. And when I stepped over the threshold of his studio apartment – this breathtaking collage of remembrance – it became clear to me that Lurie had mentally never quite left the concentration camp."

Filmmaker Rudij Bergmann

Rudij Bergmann, well-known for numerous ARTE films about artists from Max Beckmann to Neo Rauch, has created a very personal film that will be premièred today, eight years after Lurie’s death.

See the trailer:

A Conversation with Peter Weibel: Should Boris Lurie Be Seen as a Part of the Ultra-realist Neo-avant-garde, and Pornography as a Metaphor for Capitalist Society

Peter Weibel is an Austrian artist, curator and theoretician. He has been as a university professor and director of institutions like the Ars Electronica, Linz, the Institute for New Media in Frankfurt. He is currently CEO and Chairman of ZKM (Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe). read article

Translations of Selections from the German Press

Go to the Jewish Museum, dammit!

By Hans-Joachim Müller
Die Welt, 05.22.16

After the war, hardly anyone was so radical in his art as Boris Lurie. Born in Leningrad, survived Buchenwald, died in New York. Currently the Jewish Museum in Berlin is showing his lifework.

What hangs on the wall is really bad, coarse, rough, tattered. But it is so oddly fascinating that one can’t help looking at these unsettling images intently, sharing this sight with the few speechless visitors at the Jewish Museum in Berlin. Boris Lurie needed only one syllable to testify to his irrevocably disturbed relation to the world. "No!" Again and again: "No!" Like an echo to prevent the catastrophic century from being forgotten.... Read the complete article here.

Boris Lurie in Jewish Museum—A Discovery!—A Sensation!

Berliner Zeitung
May 19, 2016
The Thursday Column by Peter Raue

The Jewish Museum dedicates a truly sensational retrospective to the art of Boris Lurie (to July 31). I have never heard the name, and have nobody around (except a few insiders) who has ever heard about this artist. No wonder, considering the way he lived and worked. That makes him one of the strangest and most remarkable artists of the 20th century. 

Born 1924 in St. Petersburg into a Jewish family, he grows up in Latvia, speaks fluent German, survives the horrible Rumbula Massacre in 1941, when his mother, sister and his young love were murdered. He himself is sent to labor camps, later to Buchenwald, where he is liberated in 1945.

A year later he moves to America, where he stays for the rest of his life. He speculates wildly successful in the stock market and leaves after his death a fortune over $100 million, to pass to the Boris Lurie Art Foundation that treasures and promotes his work. No museum has a work by him and probably not a collector, because Lurie has refused to sell any of his paintings. He lives in NY as a compulsive hoarder in a chaotic studio (large photos in the exhibition show his living and working space), spends his nights with bums, writes wonderful texts, loudly announces the new Art movement called NO!art (which goes largely unnoticed), creates powerful pictures protesting against the capitalist art market, obsessively continues to paint, make collages and create sculptures until his death in January of 2008. 

His early works are depressive and artistically uninteresting reminiscences of his concentration camp experiences, however pretty soon after he finds his theme in "dismembered women", his "Pin-up Girls", which provokes a categorical No from the entire Pop Art movement hated by him. He forms Star of David and swastika in concrete, combines sex and concentration camp images in a horrendously discordant coexistence.

His motto: “No compromise!” He attacks the American warmongering, paints pictures of breathtaking power and concentration.

In addition, the walls of the exhibition bear his splendid texts. One of them summarizes them all: “The Painterdom comes from a box of confections / the candies are melted together/ Star of David with Hammer and Sickle / sprinkled over with swastikas.

A Discovery, a Sensation!
Peter Raue, the Culture Expert. 
Translated from German by Greg Kapelyan

Art in Berlin


If my art is not shown, it is as if I had never lived.

"In poverty, in prison and in defeat, there is still dignity, but there is none in this thick consumer happiness." The 1924-born Boris Lurie, who wrote these words, had survived with his father the Riga ghetto and the concentration camps Stutthof and Buchenwald. The mother, grandmother, sister and childhood sweetheart were killed by a firing squad in a forest near Riga.

Already in 1946 newly emigrated to New York Lurie had developed a radical "Jew Art", which embodied his war and Holocaust experience. The exhibition "No compromise! The Art of Boris Lurie " opened until 31 July in the Jewish Museum Berlin, with its 13 chapters and 650 square meters is a testimony of a radical artist.

In confrontation with American society he regarded as oversaturated and ignorant, Lurie linked the images of corpses with erotic scenes. In his aggressive series "Dismembered Women" he uses images of obese women in obscene, repulsive poses. "It was my reaction to New York and America. Fats and dismembered women. Fat and yet dismembered. All this after the war and famine in Europe."

A declared opponent of Pop Art and Abstract Expressionism, Lurie with his artist friends Stanley Fisher and Sam Goodman had founded the NO! Art movement in 1959. The NO!art artists perceived the art scene as a commercialized exchange place of banalities, and their art represented a response to this situation. Which meant for Lurie he would not and never in his life will sell a painting of his. He supported himself by the inheritance from his father, wisely investing the money in shares of telephone companies in developing countries. The painter and poet died on 7 January 2008 as a very rich man and left his assets to Boris Lurie Art Foundation. "If my art is not shown, it is as if I had never lived."

His art is a reckoning in writing, sculpture, and painting. An obsessive reckoning with the female body; a reckoning with politics, with the consumption-addicted society of baseless values, with America. "You should be ashamed that today’s artists is a glutton,” as he wrote, crying out in his contempt for the world. "Instead, you should get an honest profession, such as murder for appropriation. Otherwise, if you need to say something really important, you need a lot of talent."

The Artist Sarcasm is just as hard to bear as his depictions of human abysses. And yet - or perhaps because - his verbal and visual expressions still retain their great sustainable power.

In Germany Lurie is virtually unknown. His friend, the artist Wolf Vostell, who died in 1998, made a prediction in a letter to Lurie: “You will find it difficult to make it in the US and will find it difficult in Berlin. I guess the right place for you would be the new collection of “Contemporary Art Against Forgetting” in the Jewish Museum Berlin. That is where your powerful outcry, your rebellious painting would make an extraordinary sense.” The Vostell’s desire is now a reality as part of the largest ever retrospective of posthumous NO!art artist Boris Lurie.

Dr. Inge Pett

01/03/2016:, Germany / Internet

It's a match!

The tips of the week

Every Thursday we present the most exciting exhibitions of the week, including at least one that suits you. This time with flying carpets in Herford, portrait photography in Bonn and Cologne and political everyday objects at the Vitra Design Museum. Also Frankfurt Miró mural and Vienna shows the avant-garde of Russia.

Tirelessly critical: In his works the art rebel and Holocaust survivor Boris Lurie (1924-2008) accuses the society in abetting the great crimes against humanity. He criticized the art world, which has always been more interested in financial gain than in the artistic statement. A Jewish Museum in Berlin exhibition of numerous paintings, drawings, collages, texts and sculptures is dedicated to the protagonists of "NO!art" movement, a loose community of artists in New York who decidedly opposed the dominance of Pop Art and Abstract Expressionism, 

The Art of Boris Lurie, February 26 to 31 July 2016. Jewish Museum Berlin

01.03.2016: Der Tagesspiegel, Germany / Internet

The exhibition opening tomorrow in the Jewish Museum presents a retrospective of the NO!art artist Boris Lurie (1924-2008). His work brings up a controversy between art and art market and demands a political relevance in art. We raffle 3x2 free tickets (to be redeemed to 31 July).

01/03/2016: Flair Magazine, Germany / Print

A Provocative Show

A pin-up girl posing on the corpses of people who were murdered in concentration camps. Can one be allowed to show such a thing? At least when it comes to Boris Lurie, it is not only allowed, it’s what must be done. The artist died in 2008, was himself a Holocaust survivor; his works are therapeutic and provocative at the same time. This was the only way he could draw attention to the perversions of society. Lurie co-founded the New York NO!art movement in opposition to the consumerist pop art, dominated on the art scene in the late '50s. Art museums still have difficulties with Lurie's works; therefore his paintings are mostly presented in Holocaust memorial centers. "No Compromises!" is a major retrospective of the controversial artist, currently in the Jewish Museum Berlin. From 2. 26. to 7. 31 JMBERLIN.DE

Die Tageszeitung

02/27/2016: taz, Germany / Print | Ulrich Gutmair

The first punk painter

The Jewish Museum shows works by Boris Lurie

On Thursday in front of the crowded glass courtyard of the Jewish Museum Daniel Kahn and his colleague Marina Frenk performed the first Parasong as the Anarchist Tuli Kupferberg called his parodies of old Jewish airs. In Yiddish, Russian and English, with small updating changes. It is quite appropriate to be played in terms of the historical awareness as Daniel Kahn opened an exhibition of works Boris Lurie. And Kahn is right when he says that the painter Boris Lurie  was himself a punk avant la lettre.

Lurie was a contemporary of the pop artists of the sixties, his works were all but difficult to accept, it was an eye sore even for the progressive New York cultural scene.   

Lurie survived the mass murder of the European Jews; he lost almost his entire family. With his father, he immigrated to New York. He became known there through his collages in which he often used pinups that surrounded him in his studio. On some of his collages he placed the photos of naked women against the background of photographed corpses of European Killing Fields and extermination camps, with the living females from the girlie magazines symbolizing the availability and worthlessness of human body in the context of modern era. 

The retrospective at the Jewish Museum is an impressive show of images never shown to the public before. The originals of the works, which are known from catalogs, are much finer, and more powerful than they have been imagined. There are some large-scale paintings that make some contemporary paintings look aesthetically outdated, the subjects of which can be politically offensive to left-liberal arts establishment. In 1964 Lurie, who developed a love for Israel, still put "A Jew Is Dead" inscription on a collage of paper and tape. In 1970 paintings he introduced even clearer brightly colored slogans such as "Israel Imperia List" with another, borrowed from Nazis sentence underneath: Judenrein (Clean of Jews).

02/26/2016: B.Z./B.Z. on Sunday, Germany / Print | Dirk Krampitz

The artist who said NO to the art market 

He painted, wrote and modeled like an obsessed man. And sold virtually none of his pictures. He simply did not want to sell anything. Yet he died a rich man.

Boris Lurie (1924 - 2008) was a unique figure in art. He was born in Leningrad, the youngest of three children in a Jewish family. In Riga, he attended the German-language school. From 1941 to 1945 his ordeal lasted through four concentration camps, including Stutthof and Buchenwald. The female line of the family was killed in a mass shooting, Lurie and his father Ilya were forced to work and survived. "I live because there is nothing better to do," he said in 1998 rather laconically.

His work is now almost forgotten. But the Jewish Museum brings him back to public attention with 205 works, including 12 sculptures. Almost all are from the Boris Lurie Art Foundation. "He invested early in real estate and stocks," explains the Foundation’s Co-Director Anthony Williams. And so, the artist without sales bequeathed $100 million as the financial basis for the Foundation. "We retain the work, selling only individual pieces, such as the ones of the artist Paul McCarthy to keep up with estimates of the insurance," explains Williams.

Despite his wealth Lurie, as a Holocaust survivor felt himself a stranger in the consumerist US postwar world. As a result, he founded in 1959 the NO!art movement, together with the artists Sam Goodman and Stanley Fisher. As he pointed out "The whole art system is only a form of backing of the US currency system." In his opinion, the life of an artist should be a "real existence, without false 'Duchampesques,' with no art market, professors and speculators."

And so he took no account of merchantability: Lurie created large-format collages combining pinup photos with images of swastikas or corpses from the concentration camps. He radically juxtaposed found images from the newspapers of the time. He molded David stars in concrete, scratched and burned them on linen screens. He exhibited molded piles of excrements as an image of the art scene as he thought of it.

"I would gladly create pleasant images, but something always prevented me from it" he once said of his art. What has prevented him was his life.

Until 7. 31, Mo. 10 AM – 10 PM, Tue - Sun 10 AM – 8 PM, Lindenstr. 9-14, Kreuzberg, Entrance 8/3


02/26/2016: Photo Berlin, Germany / Print

Homer Simpson in the Jewish Museum

Kreuzberg - He painted a lot, selling nothing and still died a rich man.

Boris Lurie (1924- 2008) was born in Leningrad. Under the Nazis, he went through the imprisonment in four concentration camps in four years. After the war, he went to America. And kept his camps experiences firmly in sketches and oil paintings.

In memory of the artist, until July 31 the Jewish Museum has a show of his 205 works, almost all originating from the Boris Lurie Art Foundation, founded with his fortune from stock speculation.

Mo. 10 AM – 10 PM, Tue - Sun 10 AM – 8 PM, Lindenstr. 9-14, Kreuzberg, 8/3 Euro. DK

02/25/2016: dpa-based service, Germany / agencies | k. A.

Jewish Museum shows art of Boris Lurie

Berlin (dpa) - The Jewish Museum in Berlin dedicated a major retrospective to the artist Boris Lurie. The exhibition "No Compromise! The Art of Boris Lurie" shows about 200 paintings, sculptures and collages of the Holocaust survivor. Many works are from the 1960s and 1970s. Lurie, virtually unknown in Germany, was "extremely interesting artist," program director Cilly Kugelmann said Thursday.

Lurie (1924-2008) was born into a Jewish family in the former Leningrad and grew up in Riga. After he survived the ghetto and later the Buchenwald concentration camp with his father, he immigrated to New York. The Berlin exhibition, which is to be opened on Thursday night, is the largest of its kind, according to the Boris Lurie Art Foundation.

Lurie painted deformed woman bodies, scratched David stars on linen screens or combined images from concentration camps with pin-up girls. As an opponent of racism, sexism and consumerism he created works that have equally caused both dismay and fascination, according to the announcement. Lurie is also a co-founder of "NO!art", a movement that opposed Pop Art and Abstract Expressionism most popular art styles of the time. 

02/25/2016: epd basic service, Germany / Agencies

Holocaust Pin-Ups - Jewish Museum Berlin shows unsettling collages of political NO! Art artist Boris Lurie

Berlin (epd). As the documentary Rudij Bergmann 1996 entered the New York studio of the Jewish artist Boris Lurie, it immediately became clear "that Lurie had mentally never completely left the concentration camp". However, Lurie (1924-2008) recalled his camp experiences in an extremely unusual way. His studio walls were papered with newspaper clippings of half-naked women. And it is mainly these pin-ups, which make his art unsettling. In his collages he placed naked female butts in the middle of a corpse mountain or a group picture of emaciated concentration camp prisoners. Between February 26 and July 31 the Jewish Museum Berlin demonstrates his radical approach to the Holocaust theme.

Entitled "No compromises!" the show has roughly 200 paintings, collages and sculptures of Boris Lurie Art Foundation New York. Lurie had developed "a vague concept of Jewish Art " the museum program director Cilly Kugelmann said Thursday. The experience of the European Jews was incorporated into his art and worldview, although without naming Lurie's works "Holocaust art".

Lurie was born into a Jewish family in what was then Leningrad, grew up in Riga and survived with his father the concentration camp Stutthof and Buchenwald. His mother, grandmother, sister and childhood sweetheart were murdered in 1941. These experiences shaped Lurie, who obsessively focused on the female body. The photo series "Dismembered Women" are now hanging in Berlin. As the artist commented his work, "Fat and dismembered women... All this after famine and war in Europe.” The human dignity can be kept even in poverty and imprisonment, but not in the US "consumer happiness".

The Shoah was the major theme of the artist, who immigrated in 1946 to New York. There, hundreds of sketches and drawings of the "War Series" emerged as a testimony of Lurie’s experiences in labor and concentration camps. These works were for him a purely therapeutic act. The autodidact had not looked at his sketches as art, only in 2013 they were first shown. Publicly, he has focused his experiences in the "Saturation Paintings", the collages of historical imagery mixed wit pin-ups, which expressed his criticism of the fact that the reporting of the Nazi crimes in the United States had been publicized along the advertising  and gossip sheets. Instead of being only a chronicler, Lurie described the clash of different worlds.

In 1959, Lurie started the NO! Art movement, devoted to the political issues such as racism, sexism and consumerism and positioned against Andy Warhol's Pop Art. Lurie condemned this kind of art as thoughtless and subservient to commerce. Lurie despised the New York art world, driven by the itch for gain, while he was interested in solely artistic statement, not profit. The word NO appeared on many of his works, signifying his response to the state of affairs in the art world. 

The resentment was mutual, the critics back then did not think much of Lurie and NO! Art works with their lurid swastika designs and exhibitions with titles such as "Vulgar Show" and "Doom Show". In the meantime, the crowd swayed between horror and fascination. Currently Boris Lurie Art Foundation, founded 2010 strives to make the artistic and social outsiders known. After exhibitions in Russia, France and Italy, shows are planned for 2017 in Israel and some Asian countries, Co-Director of the Foundation, Anthony Williams said on Thursday. 

Despite his anti-commercial standpoint Lurie had in fact successfully speculated on the stock exchange. When he died in 2008 he left behind, says Williams, about 100 million US dollars, but no heirs. The assets and approximately 3,000 pictures, of which Lurie had never sold a single one, and which are highly in need of restoration, went to the foundation. "If my art is not shown, it is as if I have not lived," Lurie said at the time.

epd lob rks

Also published in:
Free Press
Märkische Oder Zeitung
Neue Westfälische
Thuringian newspaper

02/03/2016: radioeins rbb, Germany / radio

No compromise! The Art of Boris Lurie

Until 31 July 2016, the Jewish Museum

For Marie Kaiser the heart is just as important as the head—at least when it comes to art. She wanders through galleries and museums, courtyards and streets, shops and bars—always looking for art that moves. If she finds it, she shares her find here on radioeins.

"Art must hurt!" This was the motto of the artist Boris Lurie, who was born in the Soviet Union. As far as pain and suffering was concerned he had a thorough knowledge of them. Almost his entire family was killed during the Second World War by the SS. Lurie himself survived several concentration camps, moved in the mid-1940s to the United States, where he, together with a group of New York artists, founded the NO!art movement.

Eight years after his death, the Jewish Museum in Berlin opens the show of anti-art of Boris Lurie in the retrospective "No Compromises!" Marie Kaiser was there for us.

02/25/2016: Culture Radio RBB, Germany / radio

Jewish Museum looks at Art Rebel Boris Lurie

The Jewish Museum in Berlin dedicated a retrospective to the art rebel and Holocaust survivor Boris Lurie.

The museum announced that in his works Lurie had accused the society that shunned the confrontation with crimes against humanity. In addition, he had criticized the art world, which was more interested in financial gain than in the artistic statement.

Lurie was born in 1924 in the Soviet Union. After the war, he immigrated to New York and founded with other artists the No! Art movement that took up political issues such as racism and consumer culture.

The retrospective will be opened tonight at the Jewish Museum Berlin.


02/25/2016: SWR2, Germany / Radio | Simone Reber

No compromise
No! Art of Boris Lurie in the Jewish Museum

The beautiful woman with the narrow cheeks and melancholy eyes, her face seems to fade when looked at. In1947 Boris Lurie had painted the portrait of his mother from memory. Six years earlier Schaina Lurie was shot by the Nazis in a forest near Riga, along with the artist's grandmother, his sister and his childhood sweetheart Jeanna Ljuba. At that time Boris Lurie was seventeen. His father Ilya and he survived the Holocaust as forced laborers, first in Riga, then in Stutthof, and finally in a subcamp of Buchenwald. The images that emerged still in detention or shortly after the liberation from the concentration camp, are among the most impressive works of this massive exhibition at the Jewish Museum Berlin. Two Soviet prisoners of war at the entrance of the barracks, shaking, unsteady on their legs and too weak to raise their heads.

"It is this noticeable aggressiveness that is attacking the viewer,” says Cilly Kugelmann, program director of the Jewish Museum. "He makes the viewer feel either complicit [with the atrocity] or aggressively against the aggression. That is, in any case, no one can remain a passive onlooker." (Cilly Kugelmann)

The exhibition "No compromise" shows a man full of contradictions. The artist posed to be photographed with his German shepherd called Punch. The New York attorney Anthony Williams, now co-director of the Boris Lurie Foundation, met the artist shortly before his death in 2008 and found him a difficult man.

"In the last two weeks of his life he was in the hospital and at the foot of his bed he had a life-size poster of Josef Stalin. When I said, Stalin was no friend of the Jews, he replied, “but he was my friend, because he liberated me out of the concentration camp. " (Anthony Williams) 

After the liberation of Buchenwald by the Americans Boris Lurie moves in 1946 with his father in New York and obsessively abandoned himself in depiction of cruelty. In 1959 together with his colleagues Stanley Fisher and Sam Goodman he founded the March Gallery in the Lower East Side. They called themselves NO!art group, as opposed to Pop Art. Lurie resolves to bring up the images of vulgarity of torture, humiliation and murder. The viewer can’t help wincing when seeing these obscene collages of pin-ups and corpses. They come as an indictment of capitalism in heedless pursuit of pleasure. Lurie himself lived in such poor conditions that his life partner, the gallery owner Gertrude Stein, spoke of Stockholm Syndrome.

"She said he had always tried to let everything look like in Buchenwald. When you visited him in his studio or in his apartment, it was disgusting. He lived under terrible circumstances, although he was a rich man." (Anthony Williams)

Only after his death it turned out that the capitalism critic had been very successful in the stock market. Today his foundation has 100 million dollars. It is assigned to preservation of the NO!art. Because Boris Lurie always refused to sell his art, the works kept by the fund is almost complete artistic legacy of his. Step by step, the nearly 3,000 works are being restored. However, the last vision of the artist has not yet been tackled. A museum near Magdeburg, where one of the Buchenwald subcamp was located. He felt it as the perennial thorn in his memory.

25/2016: Germany Kultur-compressor, Germany / Radio | Anette Schneider 02/ 

Retrospective of an uncompromising artist 

Since the late 1950s Boris Lurie and his friends intended to shake up the complacent US society with NO!art, a kind of counter-art. A survivor of several concentration camps, Lurie wanted his works to be repellent. Now the Jewish Museum presents 200 objects, collages, drawings and oil paintings entitled No compromise!

A piece of framed burlap hangs on the wall. In the middle of it a newspaper photo is pasted. It shows survivors of a newly liberated concentration camp. Superimposed on it are photographs of naked pin-up girls.

"Art must hurt!"

In 1959, following this declaration, Boris Lurie and his Jewish friends Sam Godman and Stanley Fisher, founded the group NO!art. All three shared this conviction. Sais the curator Hellmuth Braun: "Art has to hurt! To make one upset. That one might also be disgusted and repelled!"

"NO! Art" blurted out things offensive for the beautiful self-image of a country that had its social problems and imperialist interests hidden behind the glittering façade of the consumer society. And, as the deputy director Cilly Kugelmann sais: 

"Boris Lurie makes it clear that his art is heavily influenced by his experiences in the Shoah, in the mass annihilation of European Jewry. He finds it intolerable in a society like the United States, when the first reporting about the mass killing appeared in photo magazines along and between the ads. And that makes him all so angry! "

Lurie wanted to do the unpleasant things.

Lurie was born in 1924 in Leningrad. He grew up in Riga, where he attended a German Gymnasium. 1941, the fascist nightmare: the ghetto. The shooting of mother, sister, friend. The forced labor camp. The concentration camp Stutthoff. The Buchenwald concentration camp. Then: the liberation. 1946 he immigrated with his father to New York. Next: Boris Lurie became a painter:

"I remember, at that time I thought about it really specifically. For example, I am very fond of impressionism and I could also do quite well when I started to paint. But there always was the problem in my mind: You must not make it that way! You have to do the unpleasant things. Making the hard stuff, is that true? And the hard stuff again, which did not bring me much personal happiness."

The exhibition also includes works from the 1940s to the '80s, a room with photographs and video films.

The works are divided into groups. There are early, small drawings of concentration camp survivors and some nightmarish concentration camp scenes. In the mid-50s Lurie began to work in collagen, with the word NO as an important component.  Because he wanted to tell his story closer to present, he combined photos of murdered Jews with violence, pornography and advertising images from current magazines. He used 1963 election campaign posters of the Vietnam War era scratched and painted them over with dripping red.

Cilly Kugelmann: "The 'NO' here means a NO! to conventional society, the capitalist economy and to a subservient, merely decorative role of art for market’s sake!"

Lurie's was driven with anger, hatred and disgust against the prevailing conditions. Because up to this day things have hardly changed, many of his works still have an immediate effect. Made by Lurie in the '60s, the series "Love Stories" have pornographic images of handcuffed and gagged women pasted on canvas. Women are shown in positions of humiliation as the jailers subjected them to in concentration camps. In Vietnam. In Abu Ghraib. At that time no one wanted to see the NO!art. The art scene rather celebrated abstract painting and pop art.

Boris Lurie: "Pop art was a glorification of American society, the consumer society. They might say that this was a very mild, almost humorous criticism. But in fact it was the complete affirmation of the consumer society..."

Lurie suffered from his outsider status. But! As a NO!art artist he still stood his ground: No compromises! The three of them could afford it with the assets Lurie had inherited, so they had their own gallery. As Cilly Kugelmann sais:

"The United States is for him a Terra Incognita. A foreign territory. People who have survived what he survived, are never at home in the whole world; and he is the outsider in the art ... This is a deeply felt anguish which is articulated in a very special way in his work."

His estrangement was referring not only to the USA. In the mid-50s Lurie had tried to live in Paris, but soon returned disillusioned. The reasons for this can be seen in the most painful area of the exhibition: there are painted, fitted with large Jewish star suitcase. And on the walls there are numerous, up to 30 large pictures 2 to 3 meters in size, whose garish, collage-like color fields Boris Lurie overpainted with large lettering of hate speech against Israel. With death threats against Jews. Statements Lurie had seen and heard in France.

Also this has not changed until today.

The Jewish Museum shows "No compromises! The Art of Boris Lurie" until 31 July 2016.