Pioneering Israeli artist
1. Ziona Tagger was born in Jaffa in 1900. Her family had made aliyah from Bulgaria in 1880 and were among the founders of Tel Aviv.
2. A sabra, she was to pave the way for later female artists. She attended the Bezalel School of Art and Design in 1921 and two years later continued her studies in Paris, where she participated in the exhibition of the Salons des Independents. When she returned home, she continued working and exhibiting with other young artists, including Reuven Ruben. In 1934, she was one of the founders of the Israeli Artists and Sculptors Association.
3. When World War II broke out, she volunteered with the British and later joined the Haganah.
4. She was a figurative painter best known for her portraits and local landscapes. Her work partakes of modern art principles – cubism, for example – but stays close to her tradition. For example, she used Plexiglass sheets, painting on the wrong side as one might paint on glass, employing the bright colors of folk art and depicting Jewish themes. Her work won her accolades and awards.
“I paint instead of praying.”
5. She is considered the most important female Israeli artist from the early part of the twentieth century. To see more of her work, click here. (Do it – it’s worth the trip.) She died in 1988.
You’ll find Ziona Tagger St. in Jaffa, off Yefet St.
Thanks to Ido Biran, Telavivi, for this photograph.