Serge Hollerbach (b. 1923)
Born in Russia, Serge Hollerbach’s studies at a high school run by the Academy of Fine Arts in Leningrad were interrupted when the Nazis invaded Leningrad in 1941. He, along with many other Russian men and women, was sent to Germany and forced to work as a laborer in the factories. After the war, he enrolled as a student in the Munich Academy of Fine Arts, where he was introduced to an expressionistic mode of working. He immigrated to the United States in 1949 and chose to settle in New York City, where he still resides. The professional life he gradually built included regular exhibitions, a job teaching at the National Academy of Design, and recognition in the form of awards for his casein and watercolor painting. Beginning in 1994, loss of sight ushered in a new phase in his work. With Oskar Kokoschka’s notion of a “third eye” in mind, he now relies more on inner vision when he paints, though he continues his lifelong commitment to sketching the city and its people. In both 2012 and 2013, he won awards for post–macular degeneration watercolors from The American Watercolor Society.