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Untitled, Watercolour, 1978,
13 x 22 in, 33 x 55.9 cm

Born in Kielce, Poland, 1921 – 1988
Canadian - Polish artist
Gershon Iskowitz had lead an extrordinary life. His abilities as an artist became apparent at an early age and he later planned to study at the Academy of Fine Arts when Poland was invaded by Germany. Iskowitz managed to survive four torturous years in concentration camps. After the war he studied painting with Oskar Kokoschka and immigrated to Toronto in 1949. His work saw many transformations - from European landscape tradition to looser renderings of the countryside to more intense use of color, texture and transparency.

My paintings are not abstract. They’re real. They’re very, very much real. I see those things.

Iskowitz’s career as an exhibiting artist has been highly distinguished. His works have been shown across Canada, the United States and Europe including the then famous Martha Jackson Gallery in New York City (1977), he represented Canada at the Venice Biennale in 1972 and he had a solo exhibition at the Glenbow Museum in Calgary (1975). His work is a part of numerous collections including The National Gallery of Canada, The Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada Council for the Arts, the Tel-Aviv Museum and the Fort Lauderdale Museum of Art in Florida.

After his death in 1988, his foundation established the Gershon Iskowitz prize totalling $25,000. The award is given to artists in recognition of their achievements as well as support to innovative projects for exhibition and publication.

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