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.