American University Museum Art and the Demands of Memory: Works by Second Generation Holocaust Survivors

By Editorial Team on February 5, 2024

Wed, February 7 2024 — Sun, May 19 2024

Micheline Klagsbrun, Passage, 2023, mixed media, variable dimensions.
Opening Reception: Saturday, February 10 from 6-9pm
Talk: Wednesday, February 7 at 2pm

Join the conversation between this group of second-generation Jewish artists whose practices have been indelibly marked by the Holocaust. As memory keepers of the lives of those who could not speak for themselves, they affirm the relevance of the “past” for the world as we have found it, as well as the one we are shaping for future generations.

This mixed-media exhibition deals with ways in which art is shaped by memories of traumatic experiences. For most of these artists, these memories exist only through the accounts of their parents or relatives. Nonetheless, they are often just as “real” in terms of their impact on their work.

Learn about each artist’s personal story and sensibilities, as well as their shared preoccupation with the past and the ways in which it leaves its imprint. Some approach this through direct storytelling using the language of representation. Others are more abstract or conceptual. Some depict specific places associated with the war-time experiences of their family members, while others revisit those sites of trauma in a more metaphorical manner. Some of their works have an almost documentary character. In others, the beholder is led along more oblique pathways towards broader themes related to identity, displacement, migration, and oblivion.

American University Museum
4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW