GERSHON ISKOWITZ, R.C.A.
BLUE RED-C, 1980
oil on canvas
signed, titled, and dated on the reverse
45 ins x 40 ins; 114.3 cms x 101.6 cms
Gershon Iskowitz’s art was forever changed after a 1967 Canada Council grant allowed him to charter an aircraft to fly over the sub-Arctic landscape and the coast of Hudson Bay. His most iconic paintings have roots in this episode, and channel both the literal vision and ephemeral sensation of catching fleeting glimpses of the ground through gaps in the cloudscape. In 1975, Iskowitz explained:
“People say, oh, Gershon Iskowitz is an abstract artist…But it’s a whole realistic world…the experience, out in the field, of looking up in the trees or in the sky, of looking down from the height of a helicopter. So what you do is try to make a composition of all those things, make some kind of reality: like the trees should belong to the sky, and the ground should belong to the trees, and the ground should belong to the sky. Everything has to be united.”
In a year when we are all so strongly tethered to the terrestrial realm, unable to board flights, the impression of broad skies and uninhibited flight feels especially poignant, and beckons strongly. Imagine Iskowitz, given the gift of zooming up and above his surroundings, of seeing the familiar made new and almost alien. Many of us cannot remember our first trip in an airplane, and take for granted that startling moment when we slip the surly bonds of earth and gain the perspective of birds, of the heavens themselves. Iskowitz’s paintings remind us of the marvel of the skies, and how sublime that experience of the infinite can be.
To read further about the work of Iskowitz and the Gershon Iskowitz Foundation, see our blog here:
Proceeds from the sale of this lot to benefit the Gershon Iskowitz Foundation.
Artist’s Studio, Gershon Iskowitz Foundation