- Start: May 18, 2017 6:30 pm
- End: May 18, 2017 9:00 pm
Meet the artist Fred Terna!
May 18, 2017
The Fund’s Museum of Arts & Culture at New Rochelle High School – the only Regents-chartered museum in a school in the State of New York – is pleased to present “The Fiddle”, a solo exhibition of paintings by 93 year-old Holocaust survivor and painter Fred Terna.
Born in Vienna in 1923, Terna moved to Prague, where he lived until the age of 17. In 1940, Terna was transported from his hometown and imprisoned in various concentration camps (among them, Terezin, Aushwitz, and Dachau) until his liberation on April 27, 1945. After the war, Terna moved to Paris, where he was inspired by the work of the Cubists and post-Impressionists. He arrived in New York City in 1952, where he has been painting to this day.
Drawing from his experience of the Holocaust, Terna’s paintings address the psychological space of trauma. The works on view in the two galleries span from 1970 to the present, and focus on themes of imaginary temples, gates, and passways, as well as abstract compositions and the human figure.
After surviving the Holocaust, Terna’s imagery was understandably horrific, tending towards subjects like execution walls, fire, and ash. Over time, Terna’s focus shifted to subjects like the Western Wall in Jerusalem, which are the subject of his paintings in the small gallery. They showcase Terna’s subconscious desire to move away from anguish and towards the sublime. Using acrylic and aggregates—sand and pebbles he collected from various beaches and deserts—these landscapes are densely rendered with fortified walls and open gates, suggesting a place of refuge. His floating figures, similarly rendered, are representations of exaltation and freedom.
The figures continue into the second gallery, reinforcing the idea of liberation. Also on view are paintings that touch on the difficulty of assimilating back into society (On Being Left With a New Name, 1980, A Gathering of Momentum, 1976, and Afterwards, Emergence, 1977); and a recent series of passways, portals, and gates from 2016-17.
Fred Terna (b. 1923) lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. He has lectured extensively and exhibited in several solo and group shows. His work is included in a variety of collections including the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., The Albertina Collection in Vienna, The Ghetto Fighters Museum, and the Yad Vashem Museum in Israel. 321 Gallery (Brooklyn, NY) presented his work at the NADA New York art fair in 2016, and his work was most recently exhibited in a solo show at St. Francis College (Brooklyn, NY) in 2017.