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About Sionah Tagger Katz
Sionah Tager, one of the pioneers of Modernist painting in Eretz-Isral. She was born in Jaffa in 1900 to a Sephardic famiky hailing from Bulgaria in 1880. Her paternal grandfather Hezkiyahou Tager, was a stalwart in the Old Yishuv in Jerusalem who became an active memeber of the Jaffa community Council. Her parents were among the founders of Ahuzat Bayit and the first settlers of Tel Aviv.
Sionah went to differents schools in Jaffa, Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem before starting her first
Art lessons with Avraham Eisentein-Aldema, one of the early Eretz Israel bohemians. Later she took evening classes at the Hatomer Cooperative Studio qt the Gymnqsia Herzliya in Tel-Aviv, founded by Yaacov Peremen. Between 1921 and 1922 she studied at the Bezalel School of Art in Jerusalem. In the late 1923 she went to Paris, until 1925 she lived near Montparnass, took advanced courses in drawing, composition and painting and was systemeatically exposed to Cubism. Towards the end of the 1920's under the influence of Derain her tendency towards realism became more marked. André Derain was the modern artist to whom she felt closest.
Her long stays in Paris (1923-1925, 1930-31, 1950) and elsewhere in Eurpê (Germany, Italy ans Spain) did not weaken her strong sense of idintity with her country of origin and he need to depict the local landscape and realia in a direct manner and with simple forms. Her native Jaffa and Safed (where she lived and painted for a long time, she was one of the first resident artists of the Safed Artists'Colony.) inspired her later paintings on glass, where even the most abstract of them owe much to an ethnic or orientalist kind of ornament. Yossef Zarisky ( an Israeli well know peinter) refered to her in the catalogue of her exhibition at the Tel-Aviv museum in 1960 "as a product of the French world of painting" but added that Tsiona Tager embodies in her works "the figure of a ragged Sabra, who refuse to bear any freign yoke qnd is independent in her art".
Tsiona Tager's oeuvre can be devided into three main themes: the human body - in portraits and nudes, landscape, and still-life and interiors.
From historical perspective, the quality coefficient of her work, like that of the most early Israeli art, is to be found less in the theoretical infrastructure of the painting and its affiliation with certain trends, than in a passion for the prime artistic expression of the experience of a national Zionism in Eretz Israel.
From Sionah Tager Retrospective by Carmela Rubin. 2003 Tel Avi museum of Art.
Please visite Sionah Tager's site :http://www.tagger-siona.co.il/
The Art and Life of Israel's First Woman Painter Sionah Tagger 1900 - 1988