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Ghitta Caiserman-Roth

(1923- )

CAISERMAN-ROTH, GHITTA (1923– ), Canadian artist. Caiserman-Roth was born in Montreal, Quebec. Her parents were immigrants to Canada from Romania. Her mother, Sarah, owned a children's wear factory while her father, H.M. *Caiserman , was a trade unionist, chairman of the Montreal Jewish Library, champion of Quebec Jewish literature, and early supporter of the Canadian Jewish Congress.

Ghitta was early drawn to art. She studied under Alexander Bercovitch, a prominent Montreal Jewish artist. At the age of 13, she first exhibited and received honorable mention at the Spring Exhibition of the Art Association of Montreal. From 1939 to 1943, she studied in New York at the Parsons School of Design, American Artists' School and the Art Students' League. During summers, she worked in the war industries in Quebec and became involved in unions and leftist organizations. In 1945 she married Alfred Pinsky, a Jewish artist. They lived in Halifax while Pinsky was in the Royal Canadian Air Force, then moved back to Montreal, where, between 1946 and 1952, they founded and ran the Montreal Artists School. Drawn by the social involvement of art and the muralist movement of Mexican socialist artists, in 1948 they traveled through Mexico. Ghitta had a daughter in 1954, and in 1962 she married again, wedding Montreal architect Max Roth.

Forever exploring life's meaning and issues of social relevance through the language of art, Caiserman-Roth's forms of expression reflected a gradual change from expressionism to cubism, surrealism, and, by the 1980s, an appreciation of the abstract. In addition to producing her body of artistic work, she taught art at both Concordia University and the Saidye-Bronfman Centre in Montreal and at many other Canadian universities during summer sessions. Her art has been seen in numerous group and solo exhibitions and is found in major public galleries and private collections in Canada, the United States, and Israel. She was active in many important Canadian artistic associations and among her many awards and honors, she received in 2000 the prestigious Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Arts.

[Esther Trépanier (2nd ed.)]

Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.