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Ghitta Caiserman-Roth

  • born in 1923 in Montréal, Québec
  • parents emigrated from Romania
  • studied at the American Artists' School and the Art Students' League in New York, New York, and graduated from the Parsons School of Design in New York, New York (1939-1943)

expanded images click on thumbnails at left to view larger images

Ghitta Caiserman-Roth began her art career at the age of thirteen, when she received an honourable mention in the Annual Spring Exhibition of the Art Association of Montréal. Her painting rarely moves into the purely abstract, yet her figurative work is highly concerned with composition, light, colour and texture, often using the repetition of patterns to highlight the relationships between figurative subjects. In the early 1940s Caiserman-Roth was influenced by teacher Harry Sternberg, who encouraged her to address social concerns. This encouragement was also flamed by her experience working in war factories in Montréal during the summers, and a move to a working-class area of Halifax in 1945. At this time her imagery centred around working class life. Returning to Montréal in 1947, she and Alfred Pinsky opened the Montréal Artists School with artists Barbara Eckhart and Harold Goodwin. A trip to Mexico in 1948 exposed her to the socialist mural movement, and she began incorporating mural forms into her work, once again exploring socialist themes. In 1950 she won an O’Keefe Award for her painting, Cityscape. During the 1950s, she was preoccupied with interior scenes and still life, the window becoming a major focus in her work, symbolic at once of freedom and a kind of alienation. She continued to address the themes of family and still lifes in the 1960s, also commenting on religious/social concerns in work such as Riot (Am I My Brother’s Keeper?) (1966) and Deposition (1966). During the 1970s, her treatment of objects moved from expressionism to a more surrealist treatment, as she juxtaposed them using a free association in work like Analogy (1970) and Time Tapestry (1973). Her use of objects such as rumpled beds and empty garden furniture continued her exploration of the symbolic and sensual qualities of everyday things. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s her work has continued to dwell on the themes mentioned and a variety of others, her drawing and painting becoming increasingly abstract through an overlapping and reworking of forms, and adding printmaking techniques to her range of media. The female body is a consistent subject, often combined with textile patterns, clothing or unclothing upon the canvas. She has also, chiefly during the 1990s, revived the theme of dolls that she began in the 1970 work Analogy, this time with more specific references to death and destruction. She explains the connection between dolls and death this way: "During a long-forgotten walk along a sunlit street . . . . I see all the outdoor stairways and it’s an absolutely idyllic Fall day and from a distance I get a kind of shock. I see what looks like a terrible accident and the mood of the day is destroyed. I fearfully walk toward it and it turns out to be a whole lot of dolls scattered along the street." Having grown up with a girl named Nella, whose family were lost in the Holocaust, and who was adopted by Caiserman-Roth’s parents after her father met the girl in Lodz where he was general secretary of the Canadian Jewish Congress, the artist has used dolls frequently as images of death, sometimes incorporating them with numbers that signify, in part, concentration camp serial numbers. An exhibition of her "flung dolls" was held in Germany in 1995. Having taught at Concordia University and the Saidye Bronfman Centre for the Arts in Montréal, as well as briefer stays at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick, and the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Caiserman-Roth is the winner of numerous awards, including the Canadian Centennial Medal, Canada Council Purchase Awards, the 1975 Purchase Prize and Best Graphic Image Award at the Ontario Society of Artists, the Ninth Annual Award for the Arts, I. J. Segal Fund, and the Living Nature 86 Prize. She is a member of the Royal Canadian Academy, the Conseil des artistes peintres du Québec, and the Conseil québecois de l’estampe.



1998 Gallery Eclectica, Kingston, Ontario


1997 Galerie Jean-Claude Bergeron


1994 Herzl Family Practice Centre **find out where from Jody


1993-92 Galerie quartier des arts, Pointe Claire, Québec


1992-91 Galerie 007, Bochum, Germany


1990 Ottawa School of Art, Ottawa, Ontario


1989 Altinian Laing, Montréal, Québec


1988 L'Art français, Montréal, Québec

École d'hautes études commerciales, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Québec


1983 Restaurant Al Caretta, Montréal, Québec


1982 Dresden Galleries, Halifax, Nova Scotia


1982-81 Ghitta Caiserman-Roth: A Retrospective, 1947-1980
Concordia University Gallery, Montréal, Québec (travelling)



1998 Friedhelm Lach, Ghitta Caiserman-Roth: Multiple Realities
Galerie Schorer, Montréal, Québec


1996 Atelier Graphia Inc., Galerie Jean Claude Bergeron, Ottawa, Ontario

Centre interculturel  Strathearn, Montréal, Québec

L'Art québecois de l'estampe, 1945-1990
Musée du Québec, Québec

Galerie Linda Verge, Québec, Québec


1995-89 Les Femmeuses
Pratt & Whitney, Montréal ,Québec


1995 Monochrome Plus
Conseil québecois de l'estampe


1994 Atelier Graphia, Galerie Jean Claude Bergeron, Ottawa, Ontario


1992 The Thomas More Associates: Thirtieth Annual Exhibition and Sale of Art
Thomas More Institute, Lennoxville, Québec


1991 Seven Women
Galerie quartier des arts, Pointe Claire, Québec


1990 25 Artistes/Estampes
Art Sutton, Sutton, Québec

Le Diptyque
Montréal, Québec (travelling)


1989 Événement 89
Complèxe Guy Favreau, Montréal ,Québec

Pyramid Gallery, New York, New York

25 dessins
Art Sutton, Sutton, Québec

Women Painters of Québec
Musée Marc-Aurèle Fortin, Montréal, Québec

Cleveland Centre for Contemporary Arts


1989-88 L'Auto-portrait
Conseil des Arts/Conseil de l'estampe, Québec (travelling)


1988 Heidenburg Gallery, New York, New York


1987 Peintres juifs et modernité: Montréal 1930-1945
Galerie d'art centre Saidye Bronfman/Gallery of the Saidye Bronfman Centre for the Arts, Montréal, Québec


1986 Ariel Gallery of Tula, Atlanta, Georgia

Graphics from the University of New Brunswick Collection
The Art Centre, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, New Brunswick


1985 Dresden Galleries, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Kinsman-Robinson Gallery, Toronto, Ontario

Québec in Hollywood
Art and Culture Centre, Hollywood, Florida


1984 Agnes Scott College, Atlanta, Georgia

Moosart Galleries, Miami, Florida

Dyansen Gallery, New York, New York


1985-83 The Canadian Landscape
Works from the O.J. Firestone Collection, Ontario Heritage Foundation, Rockcliffe Park, Ontario (travelling)


1983 The Hand Holding the Brush: Self Portraits By Canadian Artists
London Regional Art Gallery, London, Ontario


1977 9th Annual Burnaby Biennial Print Show
Burnaby Art Gallery, Burnaby, British Columbia


1976 Graphex 4: 4th Annual Juried Exhibition of Canadian Prints and Drawings
Art Gallery of Brantford, Brantford, Ontario

Jewish Experience in the Art of the Twentieth Century
Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery, Halifax, Nova Scotia


1975 From Women's Eyes: Women Painters in Canada
Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Kingston, Ontario

Artfemme '75: Une exposition d'oeuvres de femmes artistes
Galerie d'art centre Saidye Bronfman/Gallery of the Saidye Bronfman Centre for the Arts, Montréal, Québec; Musée d'art contemporain, Montréal, Québec; Galerie Powerhouse, Montréal, Québec; YMCA, Montréal, Québec


1974 Québec '74
Musée d'art contemporain, Montréal, Québec



Air Canada
Alcan Aluminum
Art Bank, Ottawa, Ontario
Art Gallery of  Brantford, Brantford, Ontario
Art Gallery of Hamilton, Hamilton, Ontario
Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Ontario
Art Gallery of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario
Banque canadienne nationale, Montréal ,Québec
Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Fredericton, New Brunswick
Bell Canada
Bibliothèque nationale du Québec, Québec, Québec
Bobst Canada Inc., Pointe-Claire, Québec
Canada Council Art Bank, Ottawa, Ontario
Canada Packers
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
Canadian Industries Limited
Canadian Pacific Railways
Capital Office Interior, Ottawa, Ontario
C.I.L. Collection, North York, Ontario
Computing Devices Canada, Nepean, Ontario
Concordia University, Montréal ,Québec
Confederation Art Gallery, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
Dawson College, Montréal, Québec
Department of External Affairs, Ottawa, Ontario
Dolfasco, Hamilton, Ontario
Dominion Steel & Foundry, Hamilton, Ontario
Edmonton Art Gallery, Edmonton, Alberta
Gouvernement du Québec, La collection prêt d'oeuvres d'art, Québec
Great West Life, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Guaranteed Trust
Habima Theatre, Jerusalem,  Israel
Helena Rubinstein Collection, New York, New York
Heritage Foundation Collection, Ottawa, Ontario
Imperial Oil Collection, Toronto, Ontario
Institut Canadien de Québec, Québec, Québec
Jewish Public Library, Montréal, Québec
Justina M. Barnicke Gallery Hart House, Univeristy of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario
Kamloops Art Gallery, Kamloops, British Columbia
Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery, Kitchener, Ontario
Laurentian University Museum and Art Centre, Sudbury, Ontario
Lethbridge Community College, Lethbridge, Alberta
London Regional Art Gallery, London, Ontario
London Public Library and Art Museum, London, Ontario
Lyndhurst Lodge, Lyndhurst, Ontario
Maclean-Hunter Publishing Company Limited, Toronto, Ontario
McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, Ontario
Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Mercantile Bank of Canada
Mississauga Public Library, Mississauga, Ontario
Mohawk College, Hamilton, Ontario
Montefiore Club, Montréal, Québec
Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal, Montréal, Québec
Mount Allison University, Sackville, New Brunswick
Musée de Joliette, Joliette, Québec
Musée Laurier, Victoriaville, Québec
Musée régional de la Côte Nord, Côte-Nord, Québec
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario
New York Life
Norcen Energy Resources, Ltd.
Northern & Central Gas, Kingston, Ontario
O.J. Firestone Collection, Ontario Heritage Foundation, Rockcliffe Park, Ontario
Ottawa City Hall, Ottawa, Ontario
Pointe-Claire Cultural Centre, Pointe-Claire, Québec
Pollack Hall, McGill University, Montréal, Québec
Pratt & Whitney, Montréal, Québec
Provigo, Montréal, Québec
Provigo, Québec, Québec
Queen Elizabeth Hotel, Montréal, Québec
Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario
Rare Books Department, McGill University, Montréal, Québec
Reitman's, Montréal, Québec
Smith Falls Public Library, Smith Falls, Ontario
Sudbury Board of  Education, Sudbury, Ontario
Systèmes de fomations Provente, Inc.
Thomas More Institute for Adult Education, Montréal, Québec
Unitrop Management, Ottawa, Ontario
University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia
University of Oregon, Corvalis Collection, Eugene, Oregon
University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario
Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, British Columbia
Via Rail
Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba


Andrus, Donald F.P. Ghitta Caiserman-Roth: A Retrospective View, 1947-1980. Montréal, Québec: Sir George Williams Art Galleries, 1981.

Alix, Sylvie. Répertoire des livres d'artistes au Québec, 1991-1992. Montréal, Québec: Bibliothèque nationale du Québec, 1993.

Arbec, Jules, Demci Arzo, and Marcel Aubut, eds. Pluralité 92-93: le conseil de la peinture parcourt le Québec. Montréal, Québec: le Conseil de la peinture du Québec, 1992.

Aubry-Beaulieu, Simone, and Joanne Corno. Femmes peintres du Québec. Montréal, Québec: Musée Marc-Aurèle Fortin, 1990.

Barbeau, Marius, John Hassell, and Archibald Lampman eds. Documents in Canadian Art. Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press, 1987

Belshaw, Linda. Graphex 4: 4th Annual Juried Exhibition of Canadian Prints and Drawings. Brantford, Ontario: The Art Gallery of Brantford, 1976.

Caiserman-Roth, Ghitta. Ghitta Caiserman-Roth: A retrospective view. Montréal, Québec: Sir Georges Williams Art Galleries of Concordia University, 1981.

---, and Friedhelm Lach. Ghitta Caiserman-Roth: Drawings and Paintings. Montréal, Québec: Ghitta Caiserman-Roth, 1988.

---, and Rhoda Cohen. Insights, Discoveries, Surprises: Drawing from the Model. Montréal, Québec: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1993.

The Canada Council Art Bank Catalogue, 1972-1987. Ottawa, Ontario: The Canada Council, 1987.

The C.I.L. Collection: On Tour since 1962. North York, Ontario: C.I.L. 1985.

Cooke, Edwy F. Sir George Williams University Collection of Art. Montréal, Québec: Sir George Williams University, 1968.

Daigneault, Gilles, and Ginette Deslauriers. La gravure au Québec, 1940-1980. Saint-Lambert, Québec: Editions Héritage, 1981.

De Roussan, Jacques. Laurentides, panorama pictural de 1899 à nos jours. Saint-Jérome, Québec: Centre d'exposition du Vieux-Palais, 1991.

Duval, Paul. Four decades: The Canadian Group of Painters and Their Contemporaries, 1930-1970. Toronto, Ontario: Clarke, Irwin, 1972.

Farr, Dorothy, and Natalie Luckyj. From Women's Eyes: Women Painters in Canada. Kingston, Ontario: Agnes Etherington Art Centre, 1975.

Gersovitz, Sarah-Valerie, Jean-Pierre Goyer, and Jacques-Pierre Amée, eds. L'élément humain: aspects de la figuration dans la peinture actuelle au Québec. Montréal, Québec: Conseil des arts de la communauté urbaine de Montréal, 1988.

Grandbois, Michèle. L'art québécois de l'estampe, 1945-1990: Une aventure, une époque, une collection. Québec, Québec: Musée du Québec, 1996.

Graphics from the University of New Brunswick Collection. Fredericton, New Brunswick: The Art Centre, University of New Brunswick, 1986.

Heviz, Judy. "New directions for Ghitta Caiserman-Roth." Art Magazine (Winter 1974): 35-36.

Hill, Charles C., and Pierre B. Landry. Art Canadien: Catalogue du Musée des beaux arts du Canada Volume I (A-F). Ottawa, Ontario: Musée des beaux-arts du Canada, Musées nationaux du Canada, 1988.

Hivon, Madeleine H.,  and Pierre Henry. Évolution d'une collection: la collection de Pratt & Whitney Canada. Longueuil, Québec: Galerie d'art du Collège Édouard-Montpetit, 1988.

Hould, Claudette. Livres d'artistes: le livre illustré québécois, 1967-1977. Montréal, Québec: Bibliothèque nationale du Québec, 1978.

---, Sylvie Alix, and Peggy Davis, eds. Répertoire des livres d'artistes au Québec, 1981-1990. Montréal, Québec: Bibliothèque nationale du Québec, 1993.

---, and Sylvie Laramée. Répertoire des livres d'artistes au Québec, 1900-1980. Montréal, Québec: Bibliothèque nationale du Québec, 1982.

James, Philip, Clare Bice, and Alex Colville, eds. The Fourth Biennial of Canadian Art, 1961. Ottawa, Ontario: National Gallery of Canada, 1961.

Lach, Freidhelm. Ghitta Caiserman-Roth. Montréal, Québec: Kimberley Share, 1984.

Lacroix, Laurier, and Esther Trépanier. Montréal et ses peintres   1993.

Langlois, Monique, Laurier Lacroix, and Hedwidge Asselin. Plein la vue: L'estampe. Montréal, Québec: Conseil québécois de l'estampe, 1991.

Leduc, Fernand. 35 Painters of Today. Montréal, Québec: Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal, 1957.

Lefebvre, Germain, Eva Landori, and Robert Elie. Salon international de la gravure: Montréal, 1971. Montréal, Québec: Musée des beaux arts de Montréal, 1971.

Le Gris, Françoise, and Yvon Goulet. Monochrone plus. Conseil québecois de l'estampe, 1995.

Lumsden, Ian G. Fredericton Collects. Fredericton, New Brunswick: Beaverbrook Art Gallery, 1979.

Malenfant, Nicole. L'estampe. Québec, Québec: Éditeur officiel du Québec, 1979.

---, Jean Dumont, and Francine Paul. L'Estampe originale au Québec, 1980-1990. Montréal, Québec: Bibliothèque nationale du Québec; Conseil québecois de l'estampe, 1991.

Ninth Annual Burnaby Biennial Print Show. Burnaby, British Columbia: Burnaby Art Gallery, 1977.

Robert, Guy. L'art actuel au Québec depuis 1970. Mont-Royal, Québec: Iconia, 1983.   

Saint-Martin, Fernande. Québec '74. Montréal, Québec: Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, 1974.

---, and Gail Lauzanna. Artfemme '75: Une exposition d'oeuvres de femmes artistes. Montréal, Québec: Centre Saidye Bronfman; Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal; Galerie Powerhouse; YMCA, 1975.

Saint-Pierre, Marcel, Hannah Alphal, and Kay Aubanel, eds.  Pluralité 94-95: le conseil de la peinture du Québec voyage. Montréal, Québec: Le Conseil de la peinture, 1994.

Shammas, Basil. The Shell Canada Collection: A Selection of Canadian Art Assembled by the Employees of Shell Canada Limited. Calgary, Alberta: Shell Canada Limited, 1977.

Sketched, Etched, Drawn: Firestone Art Collection. Ottawa, Ontario: Ottawa Art Gallery, 1995.

Soudeyns, Maurice. Contemporary Art in Québec: The 90s. Montréal, Québec: Société générale d'édition, 1994.

Sparling, Mary, and Avram Kampf. Jewish Experience in the Art of the Twentieth Century. Halifax, Nova Scotia: Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery, 1976.

Stacey, Robert. The Hand Holding the Brush: Self Portraits By Canadian Artists. London, Ontario: London Regional Art Gallery, 1983.

Sternbert-Kraut, Elaine, Nell Tenhaaf, and Rose-Marie Arbour. Actuelles I. Montréal, Québec: Air Canada, 1983. 

Tippett, Maria. By a Lady: Celebrating Three Centuries of Art by Canadian Women. Toronto, Ontario: Viking Press, 1992.

Trépanier, Esther. Peintres juifs et modernité: Montréal 1930-1945. Montréal, Québec: Centre Saidye Bronfman, 1987.

---. Univers urbains: la représentation de la ville dans l'art québécois du XXe siècle: étude faite à partir des oeuvres de la collection du Musée du Québec. Québec, Québec: Musée du Québec, 1998.

Van der Bellen, Liana. Made in Canada III: Artists in Books. Ottawa, Ontario: National Library of Canada, 1983.

Von Harpe, Uve. The Thomas More Associates: Thirtieth Annual Exhibition and Sale of Art. Lennoxville, Québec: Thomas More Institute, 1992.

Weldon, Phyllis V., and Madeleine Therrien. "Chroma . . . Québec. Montréal, Québec: Conseil des artistes peintres du Québec, 1986.

Wolfe, Robert, and Friedhelm Lach. Le Diptyque. Montréal, Québec: Conseil québecois de l'estampe, 1990.


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