Fred Terna (b. 1923) is a Holocaust survivor and painter living and working in Brooklyn, NY. Terna was born in Vienna, and lived in Prague from 1926-1940. From 1941-1945, he was an inmate in German concentration camps, among them Theresienstadt, Auschwitz, and Dachau. Terna moved to Paris in 1946 and informally studied at the Academie de la Grande Chaumiere and the Academie Julien, where he was inspired by the work of the Cubists and post-Impressionists.

After eventually settling in New York in 1952, Terna elaborated on the prevailing modes of Abstract Expressionism with a personal style that infused textural elements into his compositions. Using folded canvas, sand, and pebbles, Terna sought to activate the tactile senses, layering fields of depth and creating visual tricks. Terna’s canvases seek to address the psychological space of trauma, often incorporating the charged symbols of chimneys and ash to abstract effect.

Terna has lectured extensively and exhibited his work in several solo and group shows. His work is included in a variety of collections including the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (Washington, DC); Smithsonian Institution (Washington, DC); The Albertina Collection (Vienna, AT); The Ghetto Fighters Museum (Israel); and the Yad Vashem Museum (Israel). Recent solo shows took place at 321 Gallery (Brooklyn, NY), St. Francis College (Brooklyn, NY) and the Museum of Arts and Culture at New Rochelle High School (New Rochelle, NY). 321 Gallery (Brooklyn, NY) presented his work at the 2016 NADA New York art fair and he was recently included in Progeny!, a group exhibition at the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts (New York, NY). 

Fred Terna, Brooklyn, 2012. Photo by Daniel Terna.

Fred Terna, Brooklyn, 2012. Photo by Daniel Terna.


Solo Exhibitions
2018   Sketches, Photographs, and Paintings, 321 Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
2017   The Fiddle, The Museum of Arts and Culture at New Rochelle High School, New Rochelle, NY
2017   Processing Chaos, Recurring Echoes, St. Francis College, Brooklyn, NY
2016   321 Gallery Solo Booth, NADA Art Fair, New York, NY
2007   Fred Terna: Survivor and Master of his Art, Carol Shen Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
2006   From Darkness to Light, Please Touch, St. Joseph’s College, Brooklyn, NY
1989   Hebrew Union College, New York, NY
1989   Queensboro Community College, New York, NY
1986   Jewish Community Center, Edison, NJ
1985   The Ghetto Fighters’ House Museum, Israel
1985   Jewish Holocaust Survivors Gathering, Philadelphia, PA
1980   Hebrew Tabernacle, New York, NY
1980   Rutgers Hillel, New Brunswick, NJ
1979   See and Sanctify, Yeshiva University Museum, New York, NY
1979   The Judaic Abstracts of Fred Terna, Center Art Gallery, JCC, Cherry Hill, NJ
1979   Art and Design Atelier, Sag Harbor, NY
1977   Millburn, NJ
1976   Buyways Gallery, Sarasota, FL
197X   House of Living Judaism, New York, NY
1974   Union of American Hebrew Congregation, New York, NY
1974   Park Avenue Gallery, Mount Kisco, NY
1972   Buyways Gallery, Sarasota, FL
1972   Berg Memorial Gallery, New York, NY
1972   Mari Galleries, Larchmont, NY
1970   Altman Art Gallery, New York, NY
1969   Coalescence, Gillaspie Gallery, New York, NY
1968   Gillaspie Gallery, New York, NY
1968   Gallery Ten, Newsweek Building, New York, NY
1968   Altman Art Gallery, New York, NY
1967   Gillaspie Gallery, New York, NY
1967   Doubleplay-Variations on a Theme, Marcia London Gallery, New York, NY
1966   Owls-Variations on a Theme, Marcia London Gallery, New York, NY

Selected Group Exhibitions
2019 Place/Image/Object, Anna Plesset, Fred Terna, and Daniel Terna, Jack Barrett, New York, NY
2018   Ausstellung Kunst und Widerstand im Ghetto Theresienstadt, The Volkskundemuseum Wien/Austrian Museum of Folk Life and Folk Art, Vienna, AT
2018 Crane Game, Cul de Sac, Brooklyn, NY
2018   Meaning Making Through Art Making: From the Holocaust to Contemporary Art Therapy Practices, Gormley Gallery, Norte Dame of Maryland University, Baltimore, MD
2017   Progeny!, Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, New York, NY
2010   Virtues of Memory: Six Decades of Holocaust Survivors' Creativity, Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, IL
1991   Seeing Through "Paradise": Artists and the Terezin Concentration Camp, Massachusettes College of Art, MA
1981   Spirit and Expression, Art and Design Atelier, Sag Harbor, NY
1980  Contemporary Ceremonial and Biblical Art, Art and Design Atelier, Sag Harbor, NY
1977   Artists from the Jewish Yellow Pages, Woodbridge Main Library, Woodbridge, NJ
1977   Art in Black and White, Rhoda Sande Gallery, New York, NY
1976   Buyways Gallery, Sarasota, FL
197X   Reece Galleries, New York, NY
1973   Artists Equity Association, New York, NY
1967   Marcia London Gallery, New York, NY
1967   April Flowers, Marcia London Gallery, New York, NY
1966   Art Cavern Gallery, New York, NY
1966   The Gallery Inc., Norwalk, OH