Gershon Iskowitz



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Gershon Iskowitz (1921-1988) drew as a child and he would have attended the Warsaw Academy of Art, but the Nazis invaded Poland in 1939. As a survivor of concentration camps, Gershon Iskowitz became a witness to the Holocaust in his drawings and memory works from the years 1941–54.

Post liberation, he attended the Munich Academy of Art and in 1949, he emigrated to Canada. He taught art to support his own artistic practice, becoming a member of the Royal Academy of Art in 1974. After some time in Canada, he began to paint landscapes around Parry Sound, though his expression vastly differed from the Group of Seven’s nationalist ideals.

A breakthrough came in 1967 after a flight to Churchill, Manitoba, when he discovered his unique Canadian landscape in abstract panoramic images of land and sky painted in brilliant, luminous colours. Although he was familiar with current art movements, his style remained entirely his own.

He established an Arts Foundation and a prize, which bears his name, and created to support developing artists. Gershon Iskowitz died in 1988 in Toronto; his legacy lives on through the Gershon Iskowitz Foundation and his many works, held in public and private collections.

Gershon Iskowitz