Art Reception: City of Numinous Light
The Urban Impressionism of Lawrence Kushner The Isaacs Gallery at the Osher Marin JCC is pleased to announce a never-before-seen exhibition: City of Numinous Light: The Urban Impressionism of Lawrence Kushner. This second exhibit at the Marin JCC of Rabbi Kushner’s art highlights his new body of work, a series of oil paintings that document San Francisco from a prismatic array of perspectives, vistas and neighborhoods. Join us for a free opening reception Sunday, April 8, from 3-5pm, with live music, refreshments, and an artist talk and presentation by Rabbi Kushner. The exhibit runs from April 6 through May 20, 2018. Kushner’s art is informed by his rabbinic roots, and light takes center stage. The paintings selected for this exhibit are organized by time of day, and draw from Kabbalistic literature on the "hidden light of creation." The term numinous connotes a divine quality, and Kushner’s use of saturated colors, gradient shadows, and often abstracted shapes evokes the tangible aspects of a city altered by the passage of time. San Francisco’s skyline and culture is changing as rapidly as the tech movement that currently drives its economy. Kushner’s work, conversely, invites the viewer to resist the impulse to rush and, instead, to linger over the streets, skyline and bay views that are often taken for granted amidst the frenetic pace of daily routines. If, as the French philosopher Simone Weil wrote, attention is analogous to prayer, then Kushner’s paintings invite the viewer to participate in a form of living prayer: taking a moment to notice the “light”--the numinous--in the everyday. COST: FREE Location: Kurland, Stairwell, Gallery, 2nd Floor ARTIST’S STATEMENT The lush light of San Francisco evokes the way the ancient kabbalists saw what they called the “hidden light.” It is a shimmering radiance that shines from the very first day of creation, indeed, it is concealed in every one and every thing. The task of the artist is to see that light again and paint it on canvas. I consider myself an urban impressionist seeking to record how patterns of light and atmosphere masquerade as buildings, automobiles, streets, and people. My style is economical, recalling work done plein air and alla prima. My goal is to “speak” with as few strokes as possible. ABOUT THE ARTIST Lawrence Kushner was born in Detroit in 1943. He graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 1965 and the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati where he was ordained as a rabbi in 1969. He is the author of over a dozen books on spirituality and Kabbalah (which he also designed) and has been a commentator on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered. He currently serves as the Scholar-in-Residence at The Congregation Emanu-El of San Francisco. He and his wife have three married children and six grandchildren. He lives on Russian Hill in San Francisco where every evening the light is pure magic. Kushner painted through high school but stopped when he went to college. After a fifty-year hiatus, he began painting again in 2011. Since then, he has completed 350 oils.