About & Contact

“Embarcadero #3” / 9×12 / oil on linen panel

Lawrence Kushner was born in Detroit in 1943. He graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 1965 and the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati where he was ordained as a rabbi in 1969. He is the author of over a dozen books on spirituality and Kabbalah (which he also designed) and has been a commentator on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered. He currently serves as the Scholar-in-Residence at The Congregation Emanu-El of San Francisco. He and his wife have three married children and six grandchildren. He lives on Russian Hill in San Francisco where every evening the light is pure magic. 

Kushner painted through high school but stopped when he went to college. After a fifty-year hiatus, he began painting again in 2011. Since then has completed 400 oils. 

He has painted privately with: Ezra Katz, Sandy Ostrow, Verakeet Tongpaiboon, and Eileen David. He has also participated in multi-day workshops with: Randall Sexton, Kim English,
Ken Auster, Timothy Horn, and Jennifer McChristian. 

Exhibitions / Awards
Sanctuary Gallery, St. Cyprian’s Episcopal Church, “By Your Light:” San Francisco, Solo show, September 15-October 18 2018, 
Slate Gallery, Oakland California, “CityScape,” at 101 Second Street, San Francisco; juried group show.
Peninsula Art Museum, “Art between the Lines,” Burlingame, California, April-July, 2018, Juried group show curated by the California Art Club.
Isaacs Gallery, Osher-Marin Jewish Community Center, San Rafael, California;
Solo show, “Painting the Light Fantastic,” April-June, 2018.
Slate Gallery, Oakland, California  at the San Ramon Valley Conference Center;
Featured Artist, “Urbanism,” November 2017.
Foyer Gallery, Congregation Emanu-El, San Francisco; 
Solo show, March, 2016.
Studio Gallery, San Francisco; 
Group show, “94109,” May, 2017.
Studio Gallery, San Francisco; 
Group shows, “City Streets,” September, 2014, 2017. 
Isaacs Gallery, Osher-Marin Jewish Community Center, San Rafael, California;
Solo show, “Street Light,” September, 2013.
Studio Gallery, San Francisco; 
Group shows, “Tiny,”  2013, 2015, 2016, 2017.
Krevsky Gallery, San Francisco; 
Group show, “Baseball,” 2013.

After six years of painting almost daily, I can now pretty much paint what I see. I’m not yet good enough, however, to paint what I don’t. 
     I have gradually moved away from trying to realistically portray scenes; instead I am learning how to see “out of focus.” This frees me from details and lets me concentrate on patterns of light. The images deconstruct themselves into reflections, as if, on the surface of rippled water. I assume that makes me an impressionist. 
     The imagery of the ancient Kabbalists is instructive here. They believed that light is imprisoned in the gross matter of the world. And that would mean that when the painter “gets it right,” that light is seen and effectively freed; a piece of the world is redeemed by the painting! The painter has seen beyond the initial beauty into the primal light that is its source. 
     To put paint on canvas in such a way that the eye never, ever tires; there is always another nuance, angle, perspective on the canvas. Art must be inexhaustible, always something new to notice—over and over again.

Contact Information

F Market / 18×24 / oil on linen

Lawrence Kushner
1190 Green Street
San Francisco, CA 94109

(415) 269-0010