THE OTHER JOSEFOWITZ ARTIST
Copyright Vladimir Kagan, January 12, 2013
There are two Josefowitz artists in the family: my sister Tanya and her daughter Cathy. Both have been untiring painters all of their lives. I can never envision my sister without a drawing pad in her handbag. Cathy is a painter of a different ilk. She would need to carry a roll of canvas twice her size. Though Cathy also sketches prolifically in a Lilliputian sized, beautifully bound, blank book; hers are not spiraled drawing pages to be simply ripped out.
Cathy Josefowitz has been a free spirit all her life, having left home at 16 to pursue an uncertain path in the arts, sometimes circuitously, but always productive. She would paint on any blank surface. Her career has taken her from street graffiti to super large canvases. Her art is predictably unpredictable. She exhibits frequently, although her canvases are often too large to hang on most walls, that does not deter her at all. She paints passionately and creatively.
My first encounter with her extraordinary talent was in her Paris atelier, a third floor walk-up in the 14th Arrondissement. There were vivid flashes of color, textures and materials. Her pallet was created out of salvaged textiles, her favorite media: Collages.
In 2002 Cathy and I had a collaborative show of our works in Brera, the art district of Milan. It was an exciting blend of her graphic paintings and my sculptural designs.
Cathy does not stand still. Her moods change; her style changes; her message changes. Like her mother, she is a Jekyll & Hyde. Cathy paints by day. Each morning, after an intensive Yoga session, she arrives at her bright loft in Carouge, an artist’s enclave in Geneva. She steps out of her fashionable dress into colorful overalls and immerses herself into the canisters of paint and rolls of canvas that cover the studio floor. Since her canvases are too big for an easel, she paints on the floor, all day long into the early evening.
Cathy painting in her Geneva Studio - The sketch books
Cathy is a petite, beautiful woman 5 foot tall in her bare feet. She is a single mother raising a bear of a son 6 feet tall. When she is not painting, she choreographs modern dance (to music that is beyond my grasp!). In years past, she had danced professionally. She formed a dance theater company with Mara de Wit called “Research & Navigation”. They lived, worked, and performed in Wales, with the support of the Arts Council of Wales, Cardiff. Cathy’s career had taken her from Switzerland, to Paris, to Wales, to Boston, Italy, back to Paris and finally home to Geneva. Her vocation is all embracing, comprising dancing, midwifery, political activism, lover, and always the eternal painter.
I arrived in Geneva a week too late for the opening of Cathy’s latest exhibit WORKS IN PROGRESS, held in her colossal loft. The multi-media show included a film presentation of her dancing, installation art, sketchbooks, collages, and the three-dimensional canvases that have become her current métier. While her Mother’s works are often expressed in small-framed drawings, Cathy’s work is gargantuan. Only the walls of a major private collector are large enough to hang her art, the only other suitable spaces being museum walls and the actual floor. Her current focus is landscape, not those of Cézanne or Van Gogh. Her canvasses are moods of color covering large surfaces, undulating on the floor, climbing up the walls or hanging from the ceiling. Some are teasingly spiked with tiny Netsuke-like sketches in a forgotten corner of the canvas. Making a change from the gargantuan to the diminutive, the windowsills of her studio are lined with her precious sketchbooks, and miniature fanciful flights of paper and sheet-metal cutouts
Works In Progress an exhibit in Cathy Josefowitz's studio in Carouge, Geneva 2012
Cathy is exceptionally well organized; her keen eye ensures that all is tidy and carefully arranged. Her studio walls are lined in library fashion with floor to ceiling bins to store her prolific output of canvasses as archives for future exhibitions.
Cathy’s home reflects the serenity of her devotion to yoga. It is tranquil, spacious, with colors from her art ingeniously woven into her lifestyle. She is an avid fan of my designs and has meticulously amassed an amazing collection of my furniture. Cathy is custodian of my very first design, (a set of dining chairs dating back to 1946) handed down from my parents, to my sister, and ultimately to Cathy, all serendipitously integrated into her art collection. Her home has been featured in Paris Elle Decor and is a showcase for the harmony between art and design.
To see more of Cathy Josefowitz’s work, please go to her website: <http://WWW.cathyjosefowitz.com>
photo cresits: Cathy's apartment: Luxproductions.com - Jean-Francois Jaussaud