For some years Bill Gersh (1943 - 1994) was identified with what was perhaps the only school of contemporary painting in Taos--Junk Art. Gersh, David Pratt and Otero Goodsky were the most prominent members of this school characterized by rough edges, cheap materials, great energy, and often psychedelic imagery. These outlaw artists rejected the traditional AESTHETICS and ethics of fine art. Their purpose was shock.
By the late 70s the Junk ART SCHOOL OF Taos was all but dead. Goodsky and Pratt moved on to Santa Fe, and Gersh came out of the closet as a creator of original, emotionally charged fine art dealing often with the mythology of the American West. He had no interest in romancing the West, no interest in Charles Russell cowboy painters of his day. As Sam Shepherd has done with his plays, Gersh explored the dark, under belly of the region, painting with an intensity of focus that can be exhilarating or terrifying, depending on your sensibility. The work is direct, immediately accessible, energized. Someone said that obsessive intensity signals the presence of real talent. That was certainly true of Bill Gersh.
Overall: 37 1/4 x 49 1/4 in. (94.6 x 125.1 cm)
Estate Gift of Richard B. Siegel