Yeshiva University Museum Presents Major Retrospective of Paintings by Sam Borenstein

Continuing until May 8, 2011, the Yeshiva University Museum in Chelsea presents a major retrospective of paintings by Sam Borenstein.

Born in Europe and immigrating to North America as a teenager, Sam Borenstein returned to Paris in 1939 to meet Soutine and see the work of Van Gogh with his own eyes. Inspired by these masters and their contemporaries, the experience confirmed his natural inclination: to discover and develop his own unique vision.

With a style too bold and challenging to be truly appreciated in his lifetime, Borenstein has since been acknowledged as one of the twentieth century’s master expressionists with his retrospective at The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in 2005.

Now it is time for the international community, especially New York and the US, to discover and share in the pure exuberance and beauty of his work.

Bold colors, dynamic brushwork and ecstatic energy are characteristic features of Borenstein’s paintings, which capture the spirit in nature, as well as the settings, personalities and life in and around Montreal, the artist’s adopted city. Neither orthodox nor conventional, for Sam Borenstein the pursuit of art was religion.

Borenstein’s work shocked the Canadian art world when it was originally exhibited. Largely self-taught as a practitioner of plein air painting, his intense and colorful canvases stand apart from those of his contemporaries who responded to modernism from a formalist perspective. In his approach to landscape, as well as in his portraits and still-lifes, Borenstein projects and reveals the most expressive properties of nature.

Borenstein (1908 – 1969) has paintings in numerous permanent collections across Canada, such as the National Gallery of Canada, Musée du Quebec, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the National Portrait Gallery, the Winnipeg Museum, and the Art Gallery of Ontario, as well as the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington D.C. See

Dr. Jacob Wisse, director of the YU Museum, said that the institution was thrilled to bring the work of Borenstein to an American audience. “While Sam Borenstein is well-known in Montreal and across Canada, his artwork may come as a great revelation to many New Yorkers,” said Wisse, who is also from Montreal. See

Additionally, YU Museum is presenting a free lecture about the artist on Wednesday, April 27, 2011 from 6 to 8 pm (followed by a guided tour of the exhibit), and screening an Oscar nominated documentary about the artist on Sunday afternoons from 2 to 4 pm.


YU Museum is open everyday except Saturday, and free on Mondays, Fridays, and Wednesday night from 5 to 8 pm. Please call 212-294-8330 for more information. Press Contact: Ed Harker 310-402-8427

Yeshiva University Museum
at the Center for Jewish History
15 West 16th Street, NYC 10011

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