Bert Van Bork

1928 - 2014

Bert Van Bork - Student of Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, confidant to Jacques Lipchitz, Joan Miró and numerous artists of the 20th century, nominee by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for Best Short Documentary in 2000 — was an artist, photographer, filmmaker, writer and world traveler whose talent and respectful observance of the communities he visited allowed him rare entrance into artist studios in Europe, Mexico and the United States, including selected Native American villages in the Southwest.

Born in Augustusburg, Saxony, Germany, at the age of 15, he entered and won a statewide competition to study at the prestigious Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste (State College of Fine Arts) in Berlin, where he had the opportunity to join Masterclasses by Karl-Schmidt-Rottluff, a pioneer of the German Expressionism movement “Die Brücke”. After WWII, Van Bork continued his studies at the Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst (College for Graphic Arts) in Leipzig, Germany. Later returning to Berlin to work, he became an active contributor to a small and struggling post-war artist community. One of his poignant woodcuts titled Witwe (Widow) was chosen in 1949 to be featured on the poster for the art exhibition of the Kunstamt Berlin-Mitte.

In 1954 Van Bork immigrated to the United States, arriving in New York and later settling in Chicago. There, he began his diverse career as an artist, printmaker, master-photographer and film producer. He produced more than 100 documentary and educational films, which won him numerous national and international film awards. In 1998 he began production on the documentary film entitled “EYEWITNESS, the Legacy of Death Camp Art”, which was nominated in 2000 as Best Short Documentary by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Van Bork was both a painter and printmaker, working across mediums including drypoint etchings, woodcuts, drawings, oil and watercolors. In his interpretations, he was able to document significant experiences that greatly influenced his life. From the painful and harsh realities of war, to the soaring lines of modern skyscrapers and ancient Native American villages – all realized with deep feeling and great artistry.

Bert Van Bork’s artwork is represented in many private, corporate and museum collections, among them the Kupferstichkabinett in Berlin and Dresden, as well as the Neue Sächsische Gallery in Chemnitz, Saxony, Germany.

Bert Van Bork (1928 - 2014)
Bert Van Bork
Bert Van Bork (1928 - 2014)
New York, 1966
oil on canvas
36 x 36 inches
signed, dated and titled verso
#13122
Bert Van Bork (1928 - 2014)
Bert Van Bork
Bert Van Bork (1928 - 2014)
New York, 1966
oil on canvas
36 x 36 inches
signed, dated and titled verso
#13122
Bert Van Bork (1928 - 2014)
New York, 1961
oil on canvas
47 x 42 inches
initialed and dated at lower left; signed, dated and titled verso
#13123
Bert Van Bork (1928 - 2014)
Picasso’s Chateau Vanvenargues, Aix-en-Provence, 1961
oil on canvas
24 x 20 inches
initialed and dated at lower left; signed, dated and titled verso
#13121
Bert Van Bork (1928 - 2014)
San Francisco, 1963
oil on canvas
12 x 16 inches
initialed at lower left; signed, dated and titled verso
#13117
Bert Van Bork (1928 - 2014)
San Francisco, 1963
oil on canvas
12 x 16 inches
initialed at lower right; signed, dated and titled verso
#13118
Bert Van Bork (1928 - 2014)
San Francisco, 1963
oil on canvas
12 x 16 inches
initialed at lower right; signed and dated verso
#13119
Bert Van Bork (1928 - 2014)
San Francisco, 1964
oil on canvas
12 x 16 inches
initialed at lower right; signed, dated and titled verso
#13120
Bert Van Bork (1928 - 2014)
Chicago, 1999
acrylic on canvas
12 x 9 inches
initialed at lower center; signed, dated and titled verso
#13115
Bert Van Bork (1928 - 2014)
Chicago, 1999
acrylic on canvas
10 x 8 inches
initialed at lower center; signed, dated and titled verso
#13116
Bert Van Bork (1928 - 2014)
Lakeshore Drive II (Chicago), 1987
etching and drypoint, 13/25
19 3/4 x 15 3/4 inches
signed and numbered in pencil;
exhibited: Universität Galerie,Leipzig, Germany, 1995
#13025
Bert Van Bork (1928 - 2014)
Skyline with Lakeshore (Chicago), 1987
etching and drypoint, 12/25
19 3/4 x 15 3/4 inches
signed and numbered in pencil
exhibited: Goethe Institute, Chicago, 1988; Block Gallery at Northwestern University, 1996; Universität Galerie,Leipzig, Germany, 1995
#13026
Bert Van Bork (1928 - 2014)
Skyline in the Clouds (Chicago), 2005
watercolor on paper
7 x 10 inches
signed at lower right
#13029
Bert Van Bork (1928 - 2014)
Northbound Lakeshore Drive, Chicago, 2005
watercolor on paper
10 x 7 inches
signed at lower right
#13031
Bert Van Bork (1928 - 2014)
Skyline in the Fog, Chicago, 2005
watercolor on paper
7 x 5 inches
signed at lower right
#13033
Bert Van Bork (1928 - 2014)
Chicago, 2002
watercolor on paper
7 x 5 inches
signed at lower right
#13035
Bert Van Bork (1928 - 2014)
Outer Drive, Chicago, 2003
watercolor on paper
12 x 9 inches
signed at lower left
#13040
Bert Van Bork (1928 - 2014)
Lakeshore, Chicago, 2005
watercolor on paper
12 x 9 inches
signed at lower right
#13042
Bert Van Bork (1928 - 2014)
Skyline, Chicago, 2003
watercolor on paper
12 x 9 inches
signed at lower left
#13043