Judy Cassab: An Australian story

Brenda Niall

Judy Cassab: An Australian story
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Judy Cassab: An Australian story

Brenda Niall

Judy Cassab has always been shadowed by her past. Born in Vienna in 1920 to Hungarian Jewish parents, she lived through the horrors of the Second World War. Her husband taken to a labour camp and her family killed in Auschwitz, she managed to survive in hiding. Cassab migrated to Australia at a time when few women artists were given serious attention. Today, twice the winner of the Archibald Prize, Cassab is one of Australia’s foremost painters, celebrated for her haunting desert landscapes as well as her portraits. But even in the midst of her triumphs, the effects of the Holocaust couldn’t be left behind. Judy Cassab’s has been a life of struggle: to survive war, persecution and exile; to make a place for herself in Sydney as a migrant and an artist; and to hold together a loving but difficult marriage. Yet the Judy Cassab we see in this intimate biographical portrait is strong and vibrant, a woman of overriding passion, resilience and amazing determination.

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