Past exhibition

Boris Lurie & Wolf Vostell – Art After the Shoah

13.11.2022 – 29.01.2023

The exhibition compares for the first time the artists Boris Lurie and Wolf Vostell under the sign of their common confrontation with the Shoah in Germany as well as in America after 1945.

Boris Lurie (1924-2008) and Wolf Vostell (1932-1998) probably met during Vostell’s first stay in New York in 1964. Born in Leverkusen and later active in Cologne, Paris and Berlin, Wolf Vostell was considered a dazzling representative of the international Fluxus movement right from the start of his artistic career. He had been addressing the unpopular subject of the Shoah in Germany since the 1950s. Vostell’s handling of the new media and means of transport (television, radio, airplane or car) in particular was characterized by both fascination and ambivalence, supported by skepticism in view of their psychological and social impact.

Born in the Soviet Union, Boris Lurie fled to Riga (Latvia) with his parents at an early age. However, when National Socialist troops invaded there in 1941, most of Boris Lurie’s family was murdered. Lurie and his father were imprisoned in various concentration camps, including Buchenwald, until they were liberated by the Americans. In 1946 Boris Lurie and his father emigrated to New York, where Lurie became artistically active and, as a survivor of the Shoah, increasingly began to unmask the reality of post-war society. Boris Lurie stabilized his concept of anti-art in the circle of New York exile artists and founded the “NO!art movement” in 1959 together with artist colleagues Sam Goodman and Stanley Fisher with the aim of depicting the reality of post-war society openly and honestly.

At the center of the artistic work of Boris Lurie and Wolf Vostell is the confrontation with the reality of the mass media, which absorb and relativize all critical content. Both artists used the pictorial techniques of the print media (especially magazines, newspapers and posters) and the communication strategies of the broadcast media to counteract the permanent manipulation and to demonstratively question political decisions. It was worse for them than the crimes they had experienced to endure the indifference of their contemporaries and the cynicism of the American “affluent society”. Both artists opted for an art that breaks with reality, confronting the viewer with facts and phenomena of violence, leaving him without explanation or meaning and thus forcing him to take a stand.

The exhibition owes its substantial support to the Boris Lurie Foundation, New York, the Wolf Vostell Estate, Malpartida, and the cooperation with the Kunstmuseum Den Haag. In Koblenz it will be supplemented by further loans, in particular the BLAF. After the presentation in the Kunsthaus Dahlem and the Ludwig Museum in Koblenz, it will be shown in the Ludwig Múseum in Budapest in 2023.

LANDESART-Film about the exhibition: here



We look forward to welcoming you, your family and friends to the opening of the exhibition on Sunday, November 13, 2022 at 11 a.m. in the Ludwig Museum in the Deutschherrenhaus.

Head of Education and Culture of the City of Koblenz

Director, Ludwig Museum Koblenz

Curator of the exhibition in The Hague

Robert Frick (double bass), Walter Mockenhaupt (accordion),
Robert Starkmeth (guitar, vocals)

Rafael Vostell, adviser to the Boris Lurie Art Foundation and CEO of Wolf Vostell Estate will be present.



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