1936 - 2017
Moshe Gershuni was born in 1936 in Tel Aviv to parents who migrated from Poland; He grew up in a secular home, had a religious education throughout his childhood. His future works were heavily influenced by religious teachings, as well as the effects of the Holocaust. Gershuni’s artistic path began in the 60's of the 20th century with abstract sculpture in "Avni Institute of Art and Design" where his teachers were part of the art movement "Ofakim Hadashim". His first solo exhibition was unveiled in 1969 in the Israel Museum. He presented abstract paintings and sculptures in which he expressed the influence of "Pop Art" on his works. In the 1970's Gershuni produced a series of works which were influenced by conceptual art while at the same time referring to the post-minimalist values at the time. He exposes the process of the artist work while Gershuni preserved the characteristics of form within conceptual art, that is, the use of text, its arrangement in series and the reflexive dimension of the works. Among the new characteristics that appeared in his works, was a whole series of clearly biographical references, both to the artist and to his family. During those years Gershuni was a member of the group "Metzer – Messer Project" their activities emphasized the work methods of art as an element in social progress. In 1972 Gershuni began to teach in the Department of Fine Arts of “Bezalel.” He was considered one of the central teachers that supported experimental and political art. This controversy lead tohim being fired. . In 1978 Gershuni began to teach at "HaMidrasha" in Ramat Hasharon until 1986. During those years he exhibited installations in different museums and galleries. In 1977 he began to incorporate the memory of the Holocaust to a greater extend and even exhibited in the Israeli Pavilion at the Venice Biennial of Art. By the early 1980's you can see a drastic change in his work, he started to use the color red in his works, referencing the Holocaust and conjuring personal, zionistic, Muslim and Christian symbols. All this while sharing his point of view of himself, which leads to his consciousness as a homo-sexual and adds another layer to his works: the discussion about identity. At the same time, he also worked on prints that incorporated Jewish texts and iconographic elements. In 2003, he was awarded the "Israel Prize for Painting" for his work, but after refusing to attend the ceremony, it was revoked and he was deprived of receiving the prize. Later on, even after his death, his works were exhibited in different exhibitions in Israel and around the world. Gershuni's art stands out for being a re-artist who touches on political, social and personal content and who has influenced Israeli art to free itself from restraint and offer a wealth of emotion on various key issues in the Israeli society.