Artwork by Barbara Gurwitz


Artist in Focus

I was born in Fort Devon’s Army Base Hospital in Massachusetts during WW2. Mother and I lived with family members until my father returned from serving in Europe.

Growing up, I studied dance and acting and was always drawing. My first mentor was a high school drama coach who encouraged me to pursue acting and to continue drawing. I did both although the latter became my true passion.

I dropped out of college and favored hanging out with musicians and artists. My husband at the time (a painter) and I shared a living and studio space in the carriage house of a building where we often held life drawing sessions and grand parties for our cadre of creative friends.

My figurative, still-life, and landscape painting skills evolved over the years as I traveled and lived in India, Paris, Rome, Spain, Greece, and France. Often working from photographs, my interest in architecture also took hold.

Eventually settling in Southern Arizona, I created whimsical colorful scenic paintings that garnered awards, gallery representations, and a steady collector base.

Five years ago, I made an abrupt and conscious decision to completely alter my artistic perspective and style. I stopped painting people and scenery and began experimenting with a non-objective approach. This ‘aha’ moment was rooted in my quest for simplicity.

Such a drastic shift may seem odd to some, but the truth is that I had been intrigued by abstraction and architectural elements for years. Learning about the Bauhaus and Brutalist movements influenced me as well.

As I approach the eighth decade of my life, a box of paints, an easel, simple geometrical shapes, and a limited color palette make my heart sing!

Barbara Gurwitz in Focus

Credentials

EDUCATION
Self-educated painter

 

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS
“Landscape Without Restriction” - St. George Museum, St. George, Utah 2019
“Selections from the Collection”- Phippen Museum, Prescott, AZ, 2019
“Poetic Vistas” - Tucson Museum of Art, Tucson, AZ, 2004
“The Grand Canyon” - Phippen Museum, Prescott, AZ, 2003
“A Century of Arizona Women Artists” Traveling Exhibition Los Caballeros Museum, Wickenburg and Phippen Museum, Prescott, AZ, 2001
“Paintings of Barbara Gurwitz” - Martin and Roll Gallery, Durango, CO, 1998
Juried Exhibition, National League of American Penwoman, University of Tampa Gallery, Tampa, FL, 1998
25th Anniversary Invitational Exhibition, Tubac Center of the Arts, Tubac, AZ 1997
Annual Juried Exhibit, Tubac Center of the Arts, 1991& 1989
“Mail Art” - Dada Museum, Ein Hud, Israel, 1985
“Works by Barbara Gurwitz” - Henry Hicks Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, 1977
“Juried Exhibit” – Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY, 1977

 

SELECTION PUBLICATIONS
Tweedy, Duncan. “The Colors of Joy.” Tucson Lifestyle Home & Garden, 2009
“Three of A Kind: A Trio of Tucson Painters.” Tucson Home Magazine, 2007
“Liturgical Calendar, Year of Grace 2006.” Illustrations by Barbara Gurwtiz, LTP Press, Chicago, IL, 2006
Robbins, Carolyn C. “A Century of Arizona Artists.” American Art Review. Volume XIII, Number 1, 2001
“Frogpond” The Journal of the Haiku Society of America. Cover by Barbara Gurwitz, Volume XII, No.4, November 1989 and Volume XIII, No.3, August 1990
Lamb, Elizabeth S. CASTING INTO A CLOUD, Southwest Haiku. Cover and illustrations by Barbara Gurwitz,1985
Bryan, Roy. Winter Lightning: A Collection of Poems. Cover by Barbara Gurwitz

 

RELATED PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES
Slide Presentation, Docents of Tucson Museum of Art, Tucson, AZ 2003
Slide Presentation, Cochise College, Sierra Vista, AZ, 2007
Painting Workshop, Green Valley Art League, Green Valley, AZ, 2008
Juror, Members Open, Tubac Center of the Arts, Tubac, AZ, 2009

 

GRANTS, AWARDS AND RESIDENCIES
Award of Excellence, National League of American Penwomen, Juried Exhibition, Tampa, FL, 1998
Award of Merit, Annual Juried Exhibit, Tubac Center of the Arts, Tubac, AZ, 1992
Artist in Residence, Desert House of Prayer, Cortaro, AZ, 1989-91
Best of Show, Juried Exhibit (Juror Judith D’Agostino), Tubac Center of the Arts, Tubac, AZ, 1989

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