GERSHON ISKOWITZ "CONFETTI" WATERCOLOR, 1977
It is somewhat hard to reconcile Gershon Iskowitz's (1921-1988) aesthetic with his personal history.
Born to a religious family in Poland, Iskowitz was allowed to leave yeshiva (a Jewish seminary) in order to study art, including a brief stint at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw.
The outbreak of the second world war forced him to return to his hometown where shortly after he was conscripted to forced labor. In 1944 Iskowitz was transferred to Buchenwald, one of the first and most notorious Nazi concentration camps.
Upon liberation, Iskowitz spent nearly 9 months in hospital recuperating. Amazingly he would study for six months at the Academy of Fine Art in Munich with Oskar Kokoschka.
Iskowitz would eventually immigrate to Canada. For most of the 1950s, he incorporated representation into his art. By the 60's he had established a modest reputation in Toronto and beyond, joining the Gallery Moos stable in 1964.
The legend goes that in 1967 thanks to a Canadian Council grant, Iskowitz took a helicopter tour of the north. The experience of seeing the massive expanse of trees from above inspired a major redirection of his aesthetic and approach.
This radiant and elaborate watercolor was realized in a tight palette of black, canary yellow, cinnabar red, and emerald green. More often than not, Iskowitz watercolors are composed of larger forms in grouped island-like arrangements. Here the artist speckles the surface with smaller dabs of color that seem to be rising to the surface. This more concentrated distribution of color is more inline with his paintings from the late 1960's. As a result, "Confetti" is an exceptional example of an Iskowitz watercolor.
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Provenance: Gallery Moos, Toronto
Signed and dated 77 by the artist
Watercolor on paper
17"H 22"W (work)
23"H 28"W (framed)
Framed with museum glass
Very good condition
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