03/09/2016 03:34 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017


(Poster image c. The Jewish Museum Berlin).

The Jewish Museum Berlin has a hit in its stunning design of a long-awaited Boris Lurie retrospective making its way around the globe.

Cilly Kugelmann, Program Director of the Jewish Museum Berlin opens the exhibition with her address to the capacity crowd on 25 February 2016.

Located in the special exhibits section of the old building, "KEINE COMPROMISSE! DIE KUNST DES BORIS LURIE" fulfills the promise of its name with a no holds-barred design that manages to be both chronological...

...and echo the zinc walls of the new Liebeskind building with the quotes of a major underground American artist who was a holocaust survivor.

This interconnection between inner and outer in the design highlights the 21st century contribution in the uncompromising anti art of Lurie, whose position in the underground of the international avant-garde and at the Jewish Museum today is founded in the expression of the dismembered and bound body...

...arising from the prolonged torment of his memories as Holocaust survivor and the loss of his beloved mother and sisters to the death camps. His 20th century personal/universal narrative... (Photo by Yves Sucksdorff, courtesy of the Jewish Museum).

Memories of the German concentration camps form "The Saturation Paintings" oppose the Dance Hall series.

...evolves into a 21st century understanding of a holitic art. Lurie's extreme dedication to allowing the creative process to pioneer new forms of expression. For example, he says that he started putting pin up tear sheets into his paintings when one accidently fell on the canvas. It is this reverence for what science now calls dark matter/dark energy and filtering this primordial energy in combination with the universal symbol.

This underground genius made his fortune through real estate and stock investments, leaving him free in his expression to please only himself. He found a kindred spirit in the dealer Gertrude Stein, who lived up to her name...

Gallery: Gertrude Stein provided home to this underground New York avant-garde anti-art movement protesting the institutional categorization of art which made no room for art (R)evolutionary intent on shattering boundaries.

Gertrude Stein's portrait is in the archive revealing the history of the No-Art movement.

What is unexpected is the achievement by curator and his design team: to organize the work into separate periods divided into separate galleries, combining...

Lurie knife sculptures intended to cut through boundaries...

...with the salon-style presentation of intimate sketches formed from emotional sense impressions of war...

In this manner, we experience the progression of the Lurie project: to deconstruct the holocaust torments and the memories of the uprooted female body in search of a unified expression... echoing from the underground an emotionally infused marriage of word and image that became antiseptic in the minimalist movement.

Ultimately, the message emanating from Lurie's ouevre is...

This antagonist stance kept the museums and collectors at bay even as its served the evolution of art in preparation for his infusion of political reflections summed up in the exhibition title. You need to get to Jewish Museum to experience it in person with the infusion of color and image sweeping the observer as participant in the creator's no- compromising position like no other art does today.

The miracle is not so much in the work itself, but that it has finally been mounted, eight years after the artist's death, in a professionally executed major museum...

... YES!!!

UNORTHODOX at the Jewish Museum New York closes on 27 March 2016. KEINE COMPROMISSE! DIE KUNST DES BORIS LURIE runs until 21 July at the Jewish Museum Berlin. "BORIS LURIE NO!" runs from 25 June-15 Oct. at the Janco Dada Museum in Israel. "UNORTHODOX" closes on 27 March at the Jewish Museum, NYC. See the Boris Lurie Art Foundation website for more information:

All photos, unless noted otherwise, are by Lisa Paul Streitfeld and published with permission of the museum.

Lisa Paul Streitfeld is an art critic and philsopher based in Berlin.