Lawrence Kushner

In the imagery of the ancient Kabbalists, light is imprisoned in the gross matter of the world. In effect, this means that when the painter “gets it right,” that primal light is revealed and freed—a small  part of the world has been redeemed by the painting! The artist has seen through the first glance beauty into a primal light that is the source of everything, of all being. 

I try not to "name" the things I see but to concentrate on portraying atmospheric patterns of light. That way the images can deconstruct themselves into reflections, as if, on the surface of rippling water. 

To set paint on canvas in such a way that the eye never, ever tires; there is always another nuance, angle, perspective on the canvas. Genuine art must be inexhaustible, always something new to notice—over and over again.


I began painting professionally almost a decade ago. During those years, I have studied privately with: Ezra Katz, Sandy Ostrow, and Verakeet Tongpaiboon. I have also participated in multi-day workshops with: Randall Sexton, Kim English, Ken Auster, Timothy Horn, Jennifer McChristian, Brian Blood, and Kathleen Dunphy.

Exhibitions / Awards

Krevsky Gallery, San Francisco, CA, group show, Baseball, 2013

Studio Gallery, San Francisco, CA, group shows, Tiny, 2013; 2015; 2016; 2017

Isaacs Gallery, Osher-Marin Jewish Community Center, San Rafael, CA, solo show,

     Street Light, 2013

Studio Gallery, San Francisco, CA, group shows, City Streets, September, 2014; August, 2017

Studio Gallery, San Francisco, CA, group show, 94109, May, 2017

Foyer Gallery, Congregation Emanu-El, San Francisco, CA, solo show, 2016

Slate Gallery, Oakland, CA, at the San Ramon Valley Conference Center, featured artist, 

     Urbanism, 2017

Isaacs Gallery, Osher-Marin Jewish Community Center, San Rafael, CA, solo show,

     Painting the Light Fantastic, 2018

Peninsula Art Museum, Burlingame, CA, juried group show, California Art Club, 

     Art between the Lines, 2018

Sanctuary Gallery, St. Cyprian’s Church, San Francisco, CA, group show, By Your Light, 2018

Slate Gallery, Oakland, CA at 101 2nd Street, San Francisco, CA, group show, 

     San Francisco Views, 2018

Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History, Pacific Grove, CA, juried group show, 

     Magnificent  Migrations, California Art Club, 2019

Studio Gallery, San Francisco, CA, juried group show, City by the Bay, California Art Club,

     City by the Bay, 2019

Cathy Baum & Associates, Menlo Park, CA, at One Post Street, San Francisco,

     solo show, CityLights: The Urban Impressionism of Lawrence Kushner, 2019
Harrington Gallery at the Firehouse Arts Center, Pleasanton, CA, juried group show,

     Bay Area Parks, California Art Club, 2019

Corison Gallery, Tahoe City, CA, North Tahoe Arts Plein Air Open,

     Honorable Mention, 2019

Juried Virtual on-line Exhibition, Our World Reimagined, 2020, California Art Club


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 rabbi in 1969. Kushner has authored 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. Kushner 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.