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 Bill Gersh  (1943 - 1994)

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Lived/Active: New Mexico/California/Florida/South Carolina      Known for: abstract imagery assemblage, painting, collage

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from Auction House Records.
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from 203 FINE ART:
Bill Gersh

BORN 1943, Charleston, South Carolina
DIED 1994, Margate, Florida

1960-65 State University of New York at New Paltz, NY
Studied painting with Ilya Bolotowsky and Manuel Bromberg; printmaking with Robert Schuler

Born July 15, 1943, in Charleston, South Carolina

Bill Gersh studied painting with Ilya Bolotowsky, Manuel Bromberg and printmaking with Robert Schuler, while earning BA in Art Education at State University of New York at New Paltz. He was featured in a one man show in the College Gallery resulting in several works being selected for the University’s Permanent Collection. Gersh taught art in public schools while pursuing independent graduate studies in painting and film. He designed and directed mixed-media performances and environmental works and formed a close association with legendary folk artist Clarence Schmidt. Inspired by this relationship, Gersh began his work in found-object assemblage and collage as well as continuing developing his painting.

Gersh established a studio in Oakland, California and concentrated on painting while teaching art to exceptional children. He worked as an art therapist for the mentally ill. During this period, Gersh executed a series of carved assemblages and toys.

Gersh settled in New Mexico. His first studio was in Talpa. This was the year he co-founded the Reality Construction Company, a commune in Arroyo Hondo, building experimental adobe and wood dwellings while working on extensive drawing study incorporating primitive iconography.

Gersh designed and built a home and studio in Lama, New Mexico; resumed painting, sculpture and collage, focusing on the figure, portraits, and an eclectic interpretation of imagery from diverse cultures.

Engaged in an investigation of Mayan cultures, Greek mythology, Tantric imagery and the painting and fabrication of large scale sculpture relative to these studies. Performance poetry, book making and teaching various courses dealing with landscape painting, sculpture and printmaking are projects with which the artist was continuously involved. Gersh spent a lot of time between the art happenings New York and Taos. Traveled as an artist-in-residence and lecturer at numerous universities throughout the United States and spent several months in Switzerland painting for a private collector.

Bill Gersh died May 25, 1994, in Margate, Florida….

One-Person Exhibition

1998 “Gersh: The Taos Years” Traveling Retrospective, Harwood
Museum, Taos, NM and New Mexico State University,
Las Cruces, NM

Group Exhibitions
1991 “Risk”, Angladas Building, Taos
“Anonymous Bosch”, Alternative Space, Santa Fe
“Something Wild”, Arrott Art Gallery, New Mexico Highlands
University, Las Vegas, New Mexico
“Fifth Annual Self-Portrait Show”, The Pink Adobe, Santa Fe
“Taos Invites Taos”, Civic Center, Taos
“Churches: Symbols of Community”, Santuario de Guadalupe, Santa Fe
“Live From Taos”, The Design Center, Taos/Rotunda of the Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC/Buffalo Gallery, Alexandria, Virginia
“Mile of Sculpture”, Governor’s Gallery, Santa Fe
1990 “Monothon”, College of Santa Fe, Santa Fe
“Taos Invites Taos”, Civic Center, Taos
1987 “Shidoni Shows Erotica”, Shidoni Gallery, Santa Fe
“Monothon”, College of Santa Fe
“Annual Easter Egg Roll”, The White House, Washington, D.C.
“CSF Faculty: Past, Present, Future”, College of Santa Fe
“The Paint Movers, James Bettison, Patrick McFarland, Bill Gersh”,
“Statements: A Perspective on Contemporary Art in New Mexico”,
New Mexico Fine Arts Center, Albuquerque
“Expressionist Prints”, Governor’s Gallery, State Capitol, Santa Fe
“Shidoni Group Show”, Plaza Hotel, Dallas, Texax

Related Activities and Awards
1989 Sculpture Installation Award, Centinel Bank, Taos, NM
Luminous Animal Poetry Performance. Various locations throughout NM (since 1982)
Gersh and Gregorio Poetry Reading. The Speakeasy, Hallowell, ME
Santa Fe Poetry Festival. Santa Fe, NM
Art Editor for the Taos Review, a journal of literature and the arts (through 1992)
Visiting Artist at the University of Maine, Augusta ME
1987 Works/1987, a video directed and filmed by Nina Sammons, Santa Fe
1986-87 Visiting Artist at the College of Santa Fe, Santa Fe, NM
1985 Artist-in-Residence, Swiss Business Sponsorship, Zouz, Grisons, Switzerland
Spring Arts Celebration, Award for Excellence in Painting, Taos
“Bill Gersh”, a video directed by Joan Murray, produced by Philip Bareiss Fine Arts, Taos, NM

Selected Collectors
Elizabeth Taylor, Dennis Hopper, Dean Stockwell, Raul Katz, LarryBell, R.C. Gorman, Chuck Henningson, Dr. and Mrs. Bramanti, Joyce and Sherman Scott, Jere De Waters, Susan Harris, Hans Willenegger, Joy and Robert Daskal, Larry and Lisa Singer, Mr. and Mrs. Thom Simmons

Museum and Institution Collections
Harwood Museum, large permanent collection, Taos, NM
Museum of Fine Arts, Santa Fe, NM
Albuquerque Museum, Albuquerque, NM
Capitol Arts Foundation, Capitol Building, Santa Fe, NM
Art Gallery, State University of New Paltz, New Paltz, NY
Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO

Major Sculptural Commissions
Centinel Bank of Taos, Taos, NM
DelMar Offshore, Inc., Broussard, LA

Painting Commissions
R.C. Gorman

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