Sole of aShoe Writing

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Curatorial Statement: Sole of a Shoe:
Three Generations of Painting

Chaim Pinchas Podeszwa, Yidel Podeswa, Howard Podeswa
 
The Wynick/Tuck Gallery is pleased to present the exhibition Sole of a Shoe: Three Generations of Painting, Chaim Pinchas Podeszwa, Yidel Podeswa, and gallery artist, Howard Podeswa, curated by E.C. Woodley.  
 
This exhibition represents a retrospective dialogue between three generations of artists: grandfather, father and son, painting before, during and after World War II in Ivansk and Lodz (Poland), Kaufering concentration and refugee camps (Germany), and Toronto.  A special weight is given to the act of painting, its history and its language.
 
Chaim Pinchas Podeszwa, the head of a family of fine art painters, is represented in this show by his pre-war, folk paintings. Only two works, which were sent to relatives in Canada before the War, survive.  It is on this occasion that they will be exhibited publicly for the first time in Toronto.
 
Yidel Podeswa was raised in Ivansk before the war. His older brother, also a painter opened a painting studio in Lodz in the 1930's, later joined by Yidel.  Towards the end of the war, Yidel was deported from the Lodz ghetto to Auschwitz . He survived Auschwitz and Kaufering concentration camps by painting armbands and signage for the Nazis. One of his small watercolour works is a portrait of his fellow armband painter at work in Kaufering concentration camp in 1944.
 
Immediately following the war, he painted many miniature scenes of his wartime experiences. The few surviving works will be exhibited for the first time.  Yidel immigrated to Toronto with his friend and fellow artist, Gershon Iskowitz .  They both studied at the Ontario College of Art. Yidel exhibited at the Jack Pollock Gallery and continues to paint in Toronto.
 
Howard Podeswa's body of work is based on his recent trip to Poland and follows a chronology of snapshots taken by a Canadian-Polish friend, Michal Duma, as Howard searched for his father and uncle's painting studio in Lodz and the former family home in Ivansk.  In their visual, narrative bent they are related to the family album and the graphic novel, yet belong deeply to the realm of painting. Ranging from miniatures to large canvases, they also push the range of the medium as a bearer of the complexities of memory.
 
This exhibition will be the first time that Yidel and Howard have exhibited together.