Gershon Iskowitz | the artist
The artist Gershon Iskowitz
Born Nov 21 1921, Kielce, Poland.
Died Jan 26 1988, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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In 1985, recognizing the value of the Canada Councils assistance over the years, Iskowitz established The Gershon Iskowitz Foundation, which gives $25 000 annually to a mature, practising artist.
In 2007, the Gershon Iskowitz Foundation joined with the AGO to raise awareness of the visual arts in Canada with the renaming of the annual award established twenty years ago by Canadian painter Gershon Iskowitz (1921-1988). Iskowitz recognized the importance of grants to the development of artists and acknowledged that a grant from the Canada Council in 1967 enabled him to formalize his distinctive style. The AGO is home to the artist’s archives, which include early works on paper, sketchbooks and ephemera, and holds 29 paintings by Iskowitz, spanning from 1948 to 1987, in its permanent collection.
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Gershon Iskowitz, was a survivor of concentration camps at Auschwitz and Buchenwald, In 1949 he immigrated to Canada. After a Canada Council grant in 1967 enabled him to take a helicopter ride over Churchill, Man, his abstract paintings became reminiscent of aerial views of the landscape.
Gershon Iskowitz biography
Beginning in 1964, Iskowitz exhibited his work regularly at Torontos Gallery Moos. From 1967-70, he taught at the New School in Toronto, during which time his Spadina Avenue studio was a popular place to visit amongst young artists. The artist received national recognition in 1972, when he was one of two artists chosen to represent Canada at the XXXVI Venice Biennial. An Iskowitz retrospective was held in 1984 at the Art Gallery of Ontario, which traveled throughout Canada, as well as to Canada House in London, England. Each year, the Gershon Iskowitz Foundation, established by the artist in 1985 in association with the Canada Council, awards the Gershon Iskowitz Prize one of the most important visual arts awards in Canada.