Moshe Rosenthalis brings a complex history and distinctive viewpoint in his bright paintings and petite sculptures. During the first part of his career Rosenthalis lived in the Soviet Union and served in the Red Army illustrating propaganda posters. Rosenthalis’ art became the vivid colorful mix it is today when he moved to Israel in the 1950s. Since then the mood of his paintings has changed as he has had the freedom to embrace creativity, new mediums and brighter oils. The light content and coloring could be attributed to his Mediterranean environment; however a far more influential source was Rosenthalis’ exposure to artists like Picasso. “The Kiss” is Rosenthalis’ interpretation of the famous Picasso piece of the same name.
Like Picasso’s work Rosenthalis’ paintings have been classified as realist, impressionist and deco. The span of these genres can be seen in his exhibit at Zygman Voss, which is replete with his work and aside from a few odd pieces has dedicated all their walls to his paintings. This gives the viewer an excellent opportunity to compare the canvases. Though his deco pieces such as “One, Two, Three” and his other mixed-medium compositions that incorporate texts with Hebrew writing as seen in “Ordinary” are absorbing, it is the wall of smaller oils that is the most captivating. Each painting shows a scene that no doubt Rosenthalis painted while sitting on a park bench or having a coffee in a café. These are the pieces that show the personality and emotion of the artist and the history behind the brush stroke. (Rachel Turney)
Through September 6 at Zygman Voss Gallery, 222 West Superior Suite 1E, (312) 787-3300.