321 Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of work by Fred Terna (b. 1923). This will be his first solo exhibition at the gallery.

Drawing from his experience of the Holocaust, Terna’s paintings address the psychological space of trauma. The works on view focus on Terna's early sketches made in Paris and New York, color photographs of landscapes taken on a road trip through California, canvases of Jerusalem's Temple Mount painted from imagination, and a recent series of Particles paintings addressing embers. Anti-Trump signs made in preparation for the 2017 Women's March are on view in the rear room.

After surviving the Holocaust, Terna’s imagery was under­­standably horrific, tending towards subjects like execution walls, fire, and ash. Over time, Terna depicted landscapes as a form of emotional escapism, eventually focusing on subjects like the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, which are the subject of the earliest paintings on view. They showcase Terna’s subconscious desire to move away from anguish and towards the sublime. Using acrylic and aggregates—sand and pebbles he collected from various beaches and deserts—these landscapes are densely rendered with fortified walls and open gates, suggesting a place of refuge.

Fred Terna lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Terna was born in Vienna, and lived in Prague from 1926-1940. From 1941-1945, he was an inmate in German concentration camps, among them Theresienstadt, Auschwitz, and Dachau. Terna moved to Paris in 1946 and informally studied at the Academie de la Grande Chaumiere and the Academie Julien, where he was inspired by the work of the Cubists and post-Impressionists. After eventually settling in New York in 1952, Terna elaborated on the prevailing modes of Abstract Expressionism with a personal style that infused textural elements into his compositions. Using folded canvas, sand, and pebbles, Terna sought to activate the tactile senses, layering fields of depth and creating visual tricks.

Terna has lectured extensively and exhibited his work in several solo and group shows. His work is included in a variety of collections including the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (Washington, DC); Smithsonian Institution (Washington, DC); The Albertina Collection (Vienna, AT); The Ghetto Fighters Museum (Israel); and the Yad Vashem Museum (Israel). Recent solo shows took place at St. Francis College (Brooklyn, NY) and the Museum of Arts and Culture at New Rochelle High School (New Rochelle, NY). 321 Gallery presented his work at the 2016 NADA New York art fair and he was most recently included in Progeny!, a group exhibition at the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts (New York, NY).

The gallery will be open on Saturdays from 12–5 PM and by appointment throughout the week.


Stephen Westfall, "Frederick Terna by Stephen Westfall," BOMB Magazine, BOMB 136, Summer 2016