Dona Grazia and the signatures of the sages of Tiberias

Uri Mazar was born in Tiberias in 1940, a fifth generation descendent of settlers in the city. He has painted since the 1960’s , developing singular techniques and combinations of symbols, objects and colourfulness, which expresses his world , his complex family history as well as the history of Tiberias.
In his exhibition at the Mishkan Le’Omanut, Ein Harod he makes use of the signatures of the sages of Tiberias which were deposited in the city archives.
These rabbis who lived in Tiberias, continued the city’s spiritual heritage, known as one of the four holy cities of the Land of Israel. Their signatures were influenced by the rhythm and ornate style of the Arabic script which became characteristic of the personal signature. Mazar relates to these signatures in his works, which reflect the influences of the orient and the occident , evidence of an unique cultural confluence. He engages in what he describes as ” milestones in the history of Tiberias “. For example, in the works ” A tribute to Dona Grazia” , a Jewish patroness and leader exiled from Spain, who received a firman from the Sultan of Turkey to rebuild the Jewish community in Tiberias.
Uri Mazar’s exhibition on display in the Judaica wing of the Mishkan Le’Omanut, Ein Harod, conducts a rich and cognizant dialogue using symbols and materialism with the paper-cuts ” East” and ” I likened”, Ketubot (wedding contracts) and works in metal and embroidery from previous centuries.
Uri Mazar writes: ” It is not my intention to breach the silence of history, merely to remove some of the dust of generations, albeit, from those objects
from which there sprouted a quiver of longing. In the arena of our lives slaked with art and opinions we walk along the banks of lost time”.

Uri Mazar

Dona Grazia and the signatures of the sages of Tiberias

Curator: Galia Bar Or

March-April 2004

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