An exhibition at the Negev Museum of Art of works by Anna Ticho, one of Israel’s greatest artists, is a special event, partly because her oeuvre is not often displayed.
Anna Ticho (1894-1980) is identified above all with Jerusalem, where she lived, and with its landscapes which she captured in her artwork. Exhibitions of her works were generally held in Jerusalem, and after her death, chiefly at Ticho House and the Israel Museum, Jerusalem which has just published the first research book on her art. This exhibition was made possible by the generous loan of works from the collection of the Engel Gallery, whose founder, Shmuel Engel, was friendly with Anna Ticho, worked with her and was a frequent visitor to her studio.
Before Anna Ticho immigrated to Palestine in 1912, aged 18, she had spent years studying art in Vienna, where she grew up and was educated. She accompanied her cousin, Dr. Albert Ticho, an ophthalmologist who became renowned. Later, the two married, settled in Jerusalem, and opened an ophthalmology clinic where Anna worked as a nurse while also devoting her time to art. Working in pencil, charcoal, ink and watercolours, she created landscapes and figures, trees and flowers. Over the years her style and approach to drawing underwent several changes. After her husband’s death in 1960, Anna Ticho devoted herself to art full-time. In the 1970s, her drawings became abstract and freer; they were executed in the studio on large sheets of paper, usually from memory. Her portrayals of landscapes of the Judean Hills and Jerusalem led Ticho to be totally identified with landscape art. She also created numerous drawings of Jerusalem characters, Jews and Arabs, including people who attended the clinic.
The works in this exhibition are a very small selection from Anna Ticho’s extensive body of works, which span decades, and they are grouped by theme.
Viewers can gain an impression, through comparison, of the various ways in which Ticho chose to translate the space or details in a landscape onto paper. Her techniques included using a thin, delicate line or a broad sweeping line and smearing a patch, a densely detailed sketch, or freely marking outlines in an essentially naturalistic and informative style, as compared with expressive, imagination-fuelled drawing. Notable in her drawings of figures is the varying emphasis placed on expressions, body position, skull structure, and the role of white paper as background – or as part of the image itself. In the flower drawings, it is interesting to notice the location of the free patch of colour separately from the line. The encounter with Anna Ticho’s drawings, even in the limited selection shown here, reveals a wealth of methods, perspectives, and personal interpretations of the motifs she engaged with, and offers an opportunity to study this tremendous artist’s distinctive handwriting.
All works are on loan from Engel Gallery, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv
Anna Ticho © The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
Curator: Dr Dalia Manor
Assitant curator: Nirit Dahan
Anna Ticho: Impressions
Editor: Dr Dalia Manor
Design and production: Josseph Jibri / Megama.net
Be'er Sheva Municipality
Ministry of Cultures and Sports
Engel Gallery, Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv