Across from Nature
Silence and Infinity as a Base for Action
By Ronel Shad,
Kol HaNegev newspaper, Beer Sheva,
April 26 2002 (translated from Hebrew)
I enter in silence, put down my bag on the side. There is something very warm, human, something that makes you connect. To the right of the entrance, an Acacia tree. A sad tree in warm and quiet colours. The most beautiful Acacia tree that I have ever seen. It stands in beautiful solitude, pure.
Ron Gang paints in meta-time. Almost every painting was painted in over ten years. Layers upon layers of oil paint on canvas. Varied colouring. Brushstrokes with a presence. Every object is taken from a radius of not more than two kilometres from Kibbutz Urim where he lives. “Generally I go out in the morning with a big pack on my back and the folding easel. I set up some place and start to paint.”
His paintings are realistic and Impressionistic – a current that began modern art. The Impressionists try to to cast the feeling of the painter on the canvas. With Gang, the silence is almost addictive. Through it, it is possible to identify his fingerprints.
Your brush strokes remind one of Van Gogh. Were you influenced by him?
“When I was still ten years old, I visited for the first time an exhibition of Van Gogh and was astounded. I even felt strange and a little frightened. That was very powerful for me.”
Do you have another kind of paintings, aside from the desert landscape?
“Almost all my paintings are landscapes. People say to me, `What is there to paint in the barren Negev?’ and they don’t understand at all what there is here. I look at a hill, and from moment to moment I get drawn further in, and discover more colour. There’s the green, the brown, the red, a little violet, pink and also orange. With every moment that passes you open up more to the landscape. It is like looking into eternity.”
And indeed, Gang’s paintings remind me of a distant childhood, innocent and lost, quiet, and distant from the industrial.
Are you a man of the land? [I ask]
“He who does not work with the land and knows it, breathes it scent and soils his fingers – cannot in truth paint it.”
The Canadian Jewish News, July 12 2001:
Israeli landscapes on display in Hamilton gallery
By MOURA WOLPERT
Special to The CJN
HAMILTON - Twenty-one paintings by Toronto-born artist Ron Gang are being exhibited for the first time in Canada, at the Westdale Gallery on August in Hamilton.
Titled The Colours of lsrael, all but three of the 21 works are landscapes, acacia trees and cacti, painted in the north-western Negev, where Gang has lived on Kibbutz Urim since 1972. The three exceptions are abstract mandalas inspired by Arab graffiti he saw in the Old City of Jerusalem.
Gang's paintings showcase his deep love of Israeli soil. A love, he explains, that stems from his early years on the kibbutz, when he worked on the land.
In Hamilton for the opening of his show on June 17, Gang was unassuming and soft spoken as he spoke about his art. A painting "can reach people on a level beyond which words cannot cornmunicate," he said.
"Sometimes, I feel that I am an instrument through which the landscape paints itself."
Gang's studio is in a bomb shelter, but he paints "in the field," carrying his equipment the one and one half kilometres to his chosen site, where he reamains as long as the sun is in the right position for the effect he wants to create. His landscapes are alive with movement; his colours vibrant yet subtle.
"Lush" is how gallery owner Linda MacRae, who discovered Gang on the Internet and immediately decided to bring him to Canada, describes them.
Although he always liked drawing, Gang had no intention of becoming an artist. His first teacher was his late father, Israel Gang, a Toronto high school teacher who gave up his dream of becoming an architect upon encountering discrimination at the University of Toronto.
"He taught me about perspective," Gang said.
Gang spent a year in Israel on a Habonim work project following high school graduation, and after obtaining a BA at the University of Toronto, he turned to art for good.
He began studying in Israel, first in part-time evening classes, then at the Tel Aviv School of Art (Kalisher). Since 1985, he has exhibited in numerous group and solo exhibitions in the country.
The show is at the Westdale Gallery, 23 Augusta St., Hamilton, to the end of July, but the paintings will remain here for a further six months. Gallery hours are Tuesday to Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and by appointment. Call 905-523-5156. visit their Web site at www.westdalegallery.com
The Jerusalem Post Magazine
right: Aug 5, 1994
below: March 1, 1996
From "The Hamilton Spectator", Hamilton, Canada
Wed. June 27 2001:
Ancient land's permanence spans millenia
by Regina Haggo
Drama and serenity balance each other in Ron Gang's paintings of an ancienty land. The Colours of Israel at the Westdale Gallery on Augusta, comprises 21 of his gorgeous oils.
Originally from Toronto, Gang has lived in Israel for about 30 years. He keeps his art supplies in a bomb shelter at Kibbutz Urim. Painting the land for him means going out into the surrounding desert.
In Habesor Canyon, the warm and sunny earth tones of the canyon compliment the sharp blues of a wide sky enlivened with swirls of white, apricot and yellow clouds. The stillness and permanence of the land contrasts with the sky's ever-changing activity.
The most striking painting for me is Sinai, where the foliage of a solitary tree on the left sweeps in front of strip of low hills that seem to sway. A sky highlighted with gold rises above this serene scene.
The Colours Of Israel continues until July 31, 2001.
more about the artist:
Ron Gang talks about his Ideas and Art Artist's Curriculum Vitae Israeli Press (Images of clippings ... Hebrew) more Israeli Press clippings
All the paintings:
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Box 122, Kibbutz Urim, 85530 D N Negev, Israel
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