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Moshe Gershuni. No Father No Mother Moshe Gershuni. No Father No Mother

Neue Nationalgalerie
September 13 – December 31, 2014
Neue Nationalgalerie<br />
						September 13 – December 31, 2014

Installation view | photo: David von Becker

Moshe Gershuni (1936-2017) was one of the most significant living Israeli artists. His existential oeuvre – a continuous project of more than forty years – is uncompromising, and his prolific production of paintings, drawings, and sculptures is extremely evocative. Both sensual and conceptual, emotional and critical, authentic and well-staged, Gershuni’s works transcend oppositions, infusing historical commemoration with the cathartic immediacy of the painterly act.

Gershuni worked horizontally, covering the floor with sheets of paper that he crawled over with his bare hands dipped in paint like a blood-dripping wound. His painterly universe is terrestrial, instinctively sensual and regressive, yet marked by faith and graceful transmutations. His work generates excessive physicality and confronts it with figurative iconography and verbal acts. Many paintings include historically-loaded symbols and hand-written Hebrew passages from the Jewish prayers, which turn the bumpy, overflowing surfaces of liquefied paint, his seemingly-involuntary, pre-lingual compositions, into a living theatrical performance, a frenzy ritual.

No Father No Mother was the first comprehensive solo exhibition at Neue Nationalgalerie dedicated to an Israeli artist. It was also Gershuni’s first significant solo exhibition in an European museum for more than thirty years. The title of the exhibition No Father No Mother is comprised of two negations. Taken from a painting (No Father No Mother, 1998), it delivers a confession, a negative reflection of rootlessness and discontinuity. Extensive yet open, the exhibition evaded evolutionary, retrospective arrangements, periodical divisions and chronological orders, relating to Gershuni’s oeuvre as a vital, nonhierarchical entity, an ongoing activity.

Catalogue: Hatje Cantz, german/english, softcover, 216 pages, ca. 90 illustrations, 19,5 x 25 cm, price at the museum: 45 Euro, ISBN: 978-3-7757-3897 / Available in our online shop

Film on the exhibition | production: bboxxFILME

Moshe Gershuni, Jerusalem Nights, 1985 | © Moshe Gershuni, courtesy Givon Art Gallery Tel Aviv