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Sifting Through Ashes

On view October 27, 2017 – January 7, 2018

Members Opening Reception: October 26 (Details here)
Meet the Artist / Gallery Talk: October 27, 12 pm (Details here)


“As memories of the Holocaust are replaced by history, art can serve as a powerful tool to awaken critical conversations.” ―Bruce Gendelman
 

Gendelman paintings

On view for the first time at a national museum, Sifting Through Ashes demonstrates the unique and important role of contemporary art in educating new audiences about the Holocaust.

In August 2015, landscape painter and photographer Bruce Gendelman toured sites of Holocaust atrocities with his camera in tow. He met witnesses, deniers, and ghosts of his ancestors.
 
The artist wrestled with how to describe what he had witnessed. His experiences were captured in stunning photographs, and his attempt to further express the unimaginable became Sifting Through Ashes – a dramatic, large-scale, deep-hued series of richly textural landscape oil paintings.

About the artist:
 
Bruce Gendelman is an American artist who was raised as a member of the generation of post-war children, absorbing the whispers and prayers of his parents and grandparents about the family members lost, the birth of the State of Israel, and the hope for a strong Jewish people. His father, Max, was an American GI in the Battle of the Bulge, and survived by escaping from three German POW Camps, and becoming lifelong friends with a deserter from the German Luftwaffe.

The artist began a large-scale body of work on the Holocaust after traveling to Auschwitz and Ukraine to witness sites of Holocaust atrocities.

His great grandparents, great aunts, countless ancestors, the men, woman and children who became ash in the sky, or were shot in pits, and/or were forced into slave labor, who were starved, ridiculed, stolen from, and treated like barnyard animals, weigh heavily on his thoughts.

He paints to pay respect to those people who were mass-murdered by Nazi Ideology two generations ago.

He paints for himself. He paints as a memorial. He paints to con- vey a message about humanity to those who have not learned the lessons of history and those trapped by the ideologies of various systems of thought and power.

He yearns for a better world.



Presented in partnership with the Philadelphia Holocaust Remembrance Foundation.
 

Above left image: Bruce Gendelman,
Birkenau Barracks Memorial 1, 2015. Oil painting on canvas, 8 x 5 feet.
Above right image:
Bruce Gendelman, Birkenau Barracks Memorial 3, 2015. Oil painting on canvas, 8 x 5 feet.