Gershon Iskowitz, RCA (1919-1988), Canadian


oil on canvas
signed, titled, and dated verso; titled to gallery label verso
38 x 70 in — 96.5 x 177.8 cm

Estimate: $12,000—15,000

  • Artist's studio, Toronto, ON
    Gershon Iskowitz Foundation, Toronto, ON
  • Dimensions:
  • 38 x 70 in — 96.5 x 177.8 cm
  • Artist Name:
  • Gershon Iskowitz, RCA (1919-1988)
  • Medium:
  • oil on canvas
  • Notes:
  • In the early 1980s, Gershon Iskowitz began to transition his work from the ethereal abstracts of the 1970s – characterised by white and light-toned grounds with dense coloured cloud-cluster forms – to bold-coloured grounds and simplified cloud-lozenge forms. He continued this compositional and colour approach until his last paintings done in 1987.

    The palette of the cloud-lozenges in Violet Deep - I is limited to ranges of orange, blue, green and yellow.[1] The violet is not a typical ground as it is painted on top to define the cloud-lozenge forms, consistent with his established painting practice. In turn, the violet area is punctuated by small dots in a lighter hue to create a deeper perceptual space.

    Violet Deep - I developed into a series titled Northern Lights (1984), Sunlight and Midnight (1986) and can be seen as the foundation for his ambitious and large-scaled multi-panelled Septet paintings (1984-1986).[2] Iskowitz’s 1986 statement for the Septets is applicable to Violet Deep - I, describing his objective to “create…space and depth in terms of the sky and flying shapes,” and recalling his visit to Churchill, Manitoba in 1967, where he experienced the northern lights.

    Closely-related to Violet Deep - I is Northern Lights #12, 1984, in the collection of Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal, and comparable period and composition works in the collections of Musée d'art de Joliette and the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery.

    [1] There is a Violet Deep - II painting, and two titled Blue Violet, all 1983, in private collections.
    [2] Ihor Holubizky is a cultural essayist and art historian. He received his PhD in art history from the University of Queensland.
  • Condition:
  • Very good overall condition. Work was professionally treated in April 2024. Consolidation to various scuff marks. Conservator report available upon request.

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Bid Increments
From: To: Increments:
CA$0 CA$249 CA$10
CA$250 CA$499 CA$25
CA$500 CA$999 CA$50
CA$1,000 CA$1,999 CA$100
CA$2,000 CA$4,999 CA$250
CA$5,000 CA$9,999 CA$500
CA$10,000 CA$19,999 CA$1,000
CA$20,000 CA$49,999 CA$2,000
CA$50,000 CA$99,999 CA$5,000
CA$100,000 CA$299,999 CA$10,000
CA$300,000 CA$999,999 CA$25,000
CA$1,000,000 CA$1,999,999 CA$50,000
CA$2,000,000 CA$2,999,999 CA$100,000
CA$3,000,000 CA$4,999,999 CA$200,000
CA$5,000,000 + CA$300,000