Lecture given by member of the Research Centre for German and Austrian Exile Studies, based at the Institute for Modern Languages Research, University of London
Born in Amsterdam, Holland in 1939 and having survived Bergen-Belsen concentration camp as a child, Maurice Blik arrived in the UK aged seven. The ability to come to terms with this and to confront the face of humanity that he had witnessed, stayed silent in him for some forty years until it found a voice in the passionate and exquisite sculpture he began to produce in the late 1980s.
As the abundance of wall plaques in the area demonstrates, visual artists have been drawn to the physical and cultural attractions of Hampstead since the late eighteenth century. This London day, however, concentrates on artistic life in Hampstead in the 1930s, the period in which it occupied a unique place in the story of British art and architecture.
This year on Yom Hashoah we remember the Holocaust through the experience and sculpture of Naomi Blake, who through her abstract and semi figurative pieces, sought to promote understanding between faiths. We will also be introduced - through a recently produced film - to the powerful sculpture of Maurice Blik. Naomi’s protective, nurturing and hopeful style, together with Maurice’s strong, defiant, outward-reaching forms, demonstrate contrasting but equally positive expressions of their experiences as survivors of the Holocaust.
Some of the most important contributors to British design in the mid- and late-twentieth century were Jewish émigrés, many of whom who escaped Nazi Germany in the 1930s or survived the persecution of the Second World War to make their homes in Britain in the 1940s. The working archives, and some private papers, of 28 Jewish designers and practitioners are represented in the AAD.
In a special event to mark the closing of Heather Ross’ installation The Loud and the Soft Speakers, musician and performer Florian Kaplick (the main protagonist in Ross's installation) will give a live performance of Kurt Schwitter’s two most iconic works. This will include a performance of Schwitters' seminal sound poem The Ursonate (approx 40 mins) and a new interpretation of his famous poem An Anna Blume.
As part of a closing event to mark the end of Heather Ross's solo show The Loud and the Soft Speakers the artist will be in conversation with the performer Florian Kaplick. They will discuss how they collaborated on the performance within The Loud and the Soft Speakers, the process undertaken in the development and formation of this work and share their thoughts on how this can be contextualised with respect to the work of Kurt Schwitters.