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on Jun 14, 2021 in | Comments Off on Hedi Bak

(Click to Enlarge)
Lithograph Titled “Many Faces”
Signed “Hedi Bak 69”
13 1/2 x 10 inches

Hedi Bak (1927-2010)

Known for her strength and dry wit, Hedi Bak endured many challenges in her life. As an artist, her career spanned 60 years and three continents. She was born in Pirmasens Germany in 1927, the daughter of a political activist who later spent a year in Dachau in the early 1930’s. Growing up in during the rise of Fascism and World War II profoundly influenced her commitment to art. She wrote and published a book about her early life titled Mazel. In 1949, she married fellow art student Bronislaw Bak and soon started a family. A career artist, she juggled her time between teaching, family life and her art.

In the 1960’s She managed Studio 22, and produced a volume of prints; both her own and in collaboration with Bronislaw. Later, when Bronislaw’s health gave out, the couple moved to Europe where she was employed, doing preservation work at the Gutenburg Museum in Mainz, Germany. In 1972 they returned to America and established studios in Statesboro, Georgia. Hedi continued to teach until 1980. In 1982 the year after her husband died, Hedi suffered a serious stroke while undergoing surgery. Told that she would never walk again, she struggled to regain her life. The next year her youngest son, Pieter died in a car crash.

In 1990, Hedi married another very talented artist, Charles Counts, a renowned potter, painter and poet from Tennessee. Charles had been teaching and living in Nigeria for many years. He took his wife back to Maiduguri in Northern Nigeria where he encouraged her to take up writing as well as her art, resulting in two delightful books, many stories and prints from her time in Africa. She spent many of her happiest years of her life with Charles, until he died unexpectedly in 2000.

She returned to Oak Ridge, her late husband’s hometown and lived there until her move to the Atlanta area. In 2009, Gallery 4463 hosted a retrospective exhibit for Hedi, shortly before her death in 2010. source: http://bakart-museum.org/