Minyen / Minyan, 2012-2013
For the installation Minyen, as a tribute to Jewish tradition and ‘surviving’, Sam Drukker portrayed ten Jewish men who experienced the Second World War first hand.
The work reveals a post-war generation left with picking up the threads of broken lives and passing these on to the next generation. Sam Drukker counts himself among this next generation and – in search of his own identity – created this very personal work.
Sam Drukker was born into a Jewish family in the city of Goes in 1957. Raised in Assen, he graduated from the Academie Minerva art school in Groningen. There he was taught by artists including Matthijs Röling (1943). After his classical training he developed into a painter who deliberately sought out extremes. He paints in oil: dark and light, very thick surfaces contrasted with very thin. These contradictions are also seen in the facial expressions and poses of his models. He uses unconventional materials as surfaces: leftover wood, weathered boat sails – used goods. These materials inspire and compel him to make choices. In Minyen he hasn’t chosen an easy course: he worked with models he didn’t know, looking for meaning in a chorus of ten portraits that rises above the individual depictions.
About the Concept ‘Minyan’
Personal prayers can be expressed everywhere and at any time, but for certain prayers a minyan (Hebrew, minyen in Yiddish) is required: a minimum of ten Jewish men who have made their Bar Mitsvah. The concept of minyan is derived from the Torah, in which the number ‘ten’ in relation to people is considered a ‘community’. Not only is a minyan required for religious services in the synagogue, but also for saying the mouminrner’s prayer, Kaddish, at home. It’s important to share in someone’s grief as a ‘community’. If you’re called upon to make a minyan, you do so because it’s a mitsvah – a commandment.
In 2015 the Minyan project has been purchased by the Jewish Historical Museum Amsterdam.
A Dutch book has been published in conjunction with this installation:
Sam Drukker – Minje, een eerbetoon aan overleving (Minyen, a tribute to surviving)
Text by Sam Drukker, with a foreword by Irene Faber (Jewish Historical Museum Amsterdam)
Publisher: Waanders & Kunst, € 17.50