09192018

David Schorr

A warm humanity, wisdom, and a constantly present fine sense of humour accompanied the art of this great painter. We mourn the loss of a friend…

 

(c) Steven Ross

(c) Steven Ross

The man radiated calmness and dignity. We were eating breakfast at tables next to each other in a quiet Tel Aviv café. Normally, I would concentrate on the upcoming section of my new book and avoid a distracting conversation. Yet the timid eyes of the tall gentleman, reading the New York Times, observed his peers with a such gentle gaze that I became curious. Soon, we found ourselves in animated conversation. My neighbor invited me to sit at his table.
David, as my new acquaintance was called, was a painter. He taught in Bologna, Italy and at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. He would travel back and forth between the two. But David the artist rarely talked about himself; he was far more interested in hearing from me. David was an attentive listener. What was I writing about? What did I find so remarkable about Israel? What about Germany? What moved me as a writer? His words and his eyes expressed a human sympathy and intellectual interest.
From then on, we immersed ourselves in conversations daily. They were meaningful conversations, but thanks to David’s personality, they stayed light and void of tension. We shared a Shabbat dinner together. The Jewish faith was apparently not of interest to David. Still, on Shabbat he said the Hebrew blessings over bread and wine.
David Schorr’s family came from Hungary. The entrepreneurs migrated to the U.S., and David was born in 1947 in Chicago. Since childhood, he felt drawn to painting. He studied the subject, among others, at Yale University; there, his natural gift was cultivated. David Schorr knew that handiness is the foundation of artistic mastery. He painted representationally, filling his paintings with vibrant colors and motifs. Complete art for thinking and feeling.

With tenor Jonas Kaufmann in his studio

With tenor Jonas Kaufmann in his studio

David Schorr’s art then experienced success. Dozens of exhibitions. Cartoons in the New Yorker and other magazines. A successful career at renowned institutions. His art was accompanied by a warm humanity, wisdom, and a constantly present fine sense of humor. We grew so close that we chose to nurture our friendship.
David invited my wife and me to stay with him on his last night in Israel. He only wanted to invite his best friends; we were curious. As we looked around in the restaurant, David laughed his quiet laugh: “I told you only my best friends in Israel would be here. That’s you.”
In May, we wanted to meet with his friends Hans Gerhard Hannesen and Dieter Keller in Berlin. David had invited us to go to the opera. We never got around to it; in Bologna, David suffered a stroke, which led to his death. May the One he didn’t believe in, but from whom he never was freed, have mercy on his soul.■

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