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March 20, 1992 - Image 16

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-03-20

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Fred Lavery Audi

499 S. Hunter, Birmingham (313) 645-5930
Showroom Hours: 11:00 am-8:00 pm Monday-Friday

'92 100 S

A Painter Of A King
To Exhibit In Ann Arbor

RICK KARDONNE

Special to The Jewish News

,

D

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id you know that the
only Jewish artist
who ever painted an
officially-commissioned por-
trait of Saudi Arabia's King
Faisal is a direct descendant
of the great German-Jewish
poet Heirich Heine?
Manfred Heine-Baux was
born in 1940 in the
heartland of Hitler's Ger-
many, rural Bavaria. By any
odds this would have meant
an automatic death
sentence.
Yet he survived to become
perhaps the 20th century's
leading paragon of the im-
pressionist school of pain-
ting. His vividly colorful
canvasses will be part of the
Ann Arbor Spring Art Fair
which will take place at the
University of Michigan
Track and Tennis Building
on State Street, Saturday
from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and
Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
How did he manage to
paint a portrait of King
Faisal, who at the height of
the Arab oil squeeze in the
mid-1970s, was world
Jewry's leading adversary?
"He was in Munich to buy
some hotels and Mercedes
shares and saw an exhibit of
my work at the prestigious
House of Art. The king came
to me, took one look, and
asked, 'Are you Jewish?'
"I replied: 'Sorry, I am.'
" 'Don't be sorry,' he an-
swered. 'You're a good
painter.' I made three por-
traits of the king. When he
asked me how much I would
charge for the painting, I
named an exorbitant price
as a joke. I was flab-
bergasted when he agreed
and made out the check. I
guess it was still pocket
change for him."
Three months later, the
king was assassinated.
Manfred Heine-Baux's
paintings have attracted en-
thusiastic acclaim
worldwide. His travels to di-
verse locales, from east
Africa to the Navajo Indian
reservations, have given his
work a sense of bold sensual
color not found in the more
subdued canvasses of the in-
itial impressionists. His
paintings have been
displayed in prominent
galleries in all of the major
world art capitals, including
the Grand Palais of Paris,
which ranks after the
Louvre and New York's
Metropolitan as the most

Manfred Heine Baux

-

prestigious place for an ar-
tist's work to be seen.
Yet, he chooses to reside in
the quiet, comfortable town
of Cambridge, Ont., set
among rolling hills and
Mennonite farmland, about
150 miles east of Detroit.
He was able to survive the
Holocaust because his father
hid the family. Also, he said
the Gestapo searched for
hidden Jews in Munich, but
not in the county where the
family lived.
After the war, Mr. Heine-
Baux grew up in Munich.
But it wasn't until 1960 that
he discovered the full impact
of the Holocaust.
"It was not so easy to find
out," he said. "To me,
Dauchau was just another
Munich suburb. While 90
percent of my parents'
friends were Jews who had
hidden from the Nazis, I
didn't know what it meant to
be Jewish until I was 10."
Mr. Heine-Baux received his
Master of Fine Arts degree
from the Munich Academy of
Fine Arts in 1964. He then
became an assistant pro-
fessor of etching and stone
lithography. A calendar of
his prints was published and
then purchased by Mercdes-
Benz, BMW and Porsche for
Christmas gifts. This, he
said, was where he really
became known as an artist.
After living and working
in France, he accepted an
invitation from New York's
Victor Gallery in 1984. A
wealthy friend of his
parents, Seymour
Schumann, allowed Manfred
to live in his Catskills farm-
house.
"Seymour gave me a Rolls
Royce to go to the Madison
Avenue galleries. I had to

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