The disappeared: the Bosnian genocide of 1995.

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Indentities

What might the artist be trying to express by leaving the identities of the men blank and anonymous?

How would our understanding of the painting change had Annenberg depicted the men in full detail?

Anonymous setting

What do we usually look for when identifying where a place is?

What is missing from the setting of this picture?

Why has the artist made the location hard to identify?

What message do you think the artist is trying to convey by leaving the setting anonymous in this way?

Never again

“It was this photograph that sent a shock of recognition that the term, "Never Again", had within the space of 50 years, indeed happened again”

What is Annenberg explaining here?

For more information about the art resources of the Ben Uri gallery in collaboration with the London Grid for Learning click here.

This is a painting by American artist, Marcia Annenberg, which she made as a response to the Bosnian genocide in 1995. Although not directly related to the Nazi Holocaust, in this work, artist Annenberg explores the effects of genocide.

She says: "The Disappeared" was my response to the massacre at Srebrenica. The method of selecting out the men and boys of the town and taking them to the woods to be shot was reminiscent of the mass murder at Babi Yar.

The ethnic cleansing of Bosnia and the incarceration of men in concentration camps was revealed on the cover of Newsweek in 1992. It was this photograph that sent a shock of recognition that the term, "Never Again", had within the space of 50 years, indeed happened again, albeit to a different population. The painting itself was based on a photograph in the New York Times of men on a street in Bosnia carrying water jars. I wondered if they were still alive six months later”.

Biography:

Annenberg studied with Isaac Soyer and Robert Beverly Hale at the Art Students League and later received an M.A. in Studio Art from New York University.

Her paintings have been exhibited at museums and galleries throughout the USA. Annenberg's work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions including Raandesk Gallery, 55 Mercer Street Gallery, the Puffin Rom Gallery and Makor Gallery in New York City; the Rockland Center for Holocaust Studies in Spring Valley, New York; the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio; the Red Chair Gallery in Kansas City, Missouri and the Women's Museum in Dallas, Texas.

Her paintings are in the permanent collections of the London Jewish Museum of Art; the Yad Vashem Art Museum in Jerusalem; the Vilna Gaon Jewish State Museum in Vilnius, Lithuania and the Florida Holocaust Museum.