Figure Studies from the Grey Zone: David Olère

  • Nicholas ChareEmail author
  • Dominic Williams
Part of the The Holocaust and its Contexts book series (HOLC)


This chapter considers the drawings and paintings of David Olère. Whereas most discussion of his work has tended to mine it for information, we pursue a line pioneered by Carol Zemel to consider the gender dynamics of his artworks. We see a troubled and at times troubling attempt to figure the crime to which Olère bore witness which often employs depictions of women’s bodies. Those bodies are represented both as objects of beauty and as testaments to something of the horror of the extermination process. We perceive continuity between the authors of the Scrolls of Auschwitz and the artist Olère’s post-war corpus in that although employing different media, these members of the SK are each seeking to make some kind of sense of the horrific events they were forced to endure.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Université de MontréalMontrealCanada
  2. 2.University of LeedsLeedsUK

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