Evgenia, 2015, oil on canvas 64 x 74 cm., 25" x 29"
Recent Paintings by Ron Gang, TziUrim Gallery, Kibbutz Urim – April 1 – 28, 2011
Over the last decades I have focused my landscape painting solely on the area where I live –
Israel's Western Negev. Painting directly from nature, en plein air, has been for me the only way to go,
relishing the experience and the immediateness that has no substitute.
Yet, on a trip back to my native
Canadathis past summer, a drive into Northern Ontariowas a catalyst
for a new exploration. The area we passed through reminded me of paintings by the Group of Seven,
painters of the Canadian wilderness, active mostly between the two world wars.
Revered throughout the nation, these hardy artists had ventured out to the northern lands and brought
back an amazing body of powerful works. By rights, they should be known world-wide, just like the European
Impressionists. I had grown up in
with reproductions of landscapes by Tom Thomson and Canada
J. E. H. MacDonald gracing the walls of our home.
After moving to
Israel, the family visits back in always included visits to the Art Gallery of Toronto, Canada
the McMichael Collection, and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. I will never forget not being able to tear
myself away from Tom Thomson's masterpiece, The Jack Pine, at his retrospective exhibition at the National
in 2004. Ottawa
My few brief forays into natural land – be it the forests, wetlands or the
Rockies– were accompanied with
a sense of frustration. I would very much have liked to set up my easel there, and take the time to properly
explore these magical places with my eyes and brush. Yet the circumstances of my life never seemed to allow it.
As for the drive “up north” this past summer, in this amazing land where the Group of Seven had indeed
painted, these same feelings rushed into me. In desperation, I pulled out my camera, and shot some 150 frames
of the passing landscape, wanting to take it all home with me.
Returning home, the intense Israeli summer heat forced me to postpone outdoor painting. Instead, I decided
to see if I could translate some the Canadian photos into paintings. Even though this was not painting en plein air,
it worked! Once I had begun, I couldn't stop. I could step into these photos and find a wealth of imagery and
I have come full circle, artistically acknowledging my Canadian roots. Seven completed canvasses will be on
display in this exhibition. These are accompanied by some of my continuing plein air studies of the
How do these “Canadian” works sit with my “Israeli” paintings? Has the influence of Thomson and MacDonald
been present all the time? Is the Negev manifested in the
Canadian Shield? In the end, everything is connected
to everything. The proof will be in the viewing.
- Ron Gang, March 2011
Urim, 85530 D N Negev, Israel
Email: email@example.com (click here)
972-8-992-0561 (from overseas)
08-992 0561 (within Israel)