שמואל-בק

Born – 1933, Vilnius (Vilna).

Back was born to secular Jewish middle class family. His talent for painting was discovered early in his childhood. As a child  Bak experiences the horrors of the Holocaust, that influenced his work throughout the years.

In 1941 he was sent with his family to the Vilna ghetto, where he exhibited his first exhibition, at age nine. Later Bak moved from the ghetto to a labor camp from which he escaped with the help of his grandfather’s sister. With his mother, who was baptized when she was young, Bak hide at a Benedictine monastery. In 1943 they were forced to return to the ghetto, Bak attended an exhibition organized by Abraham Suzkever and Shmariyahu Kaczerginski. On September 24, 1943, when the ghetto was liquidated, Bak and his mother were transferred to a labor camp. Bak’s father was shot to death by the Germans at Ponar in July 1944, a few days before the liberation by the Red Army. At the end of the Holocaust just him and his mother were survived. Bak described it: “When the Soviets release us, we were two of the two hundred  survivors of Vilnius, a community of 70 to 80 thousands”.

At 1947 bak created the painting “Mother and Son” reflects the dark memories from the Holocaust.

In 1948, Bak and his mother emigrated to Israel. At the arly fifties Bak studied at the Bezalel Academy and served in the IDF.

Bak later completed his art studies in Paris. He lived in Italy, where he developed his style of figurative surrealism art. Over the years until the end of the twentieth century Bak lived and worked in New York, France, Switzerland and Israel.

In 1993  Bak moved to Massachusetts in the United States, where he lives and works until today.