Trente Triangles, 2017

Trente Triangles 2017, ©2017 Chanan Mazal, Jerusalem

Thirty Triangles. Gouache, 46 x 61 cm. (18″ x 24″)
שלושים משולשים, 2017. גואש 46 * 61
Inspired by the “Crazy Quilts” traditionally made by African American women.
The composition, with its two, not quite balanced halves and with arrows pointing all over, defies all logic. But it works.

My Work at the Jerusalem Biennale 2015

DSC_2879
I am honored to participate in this years Jerusalem Biennale – in the group show “A Sense of Space, A Sense of Place, curated by my talented colleague Mallory Serebrin. The show is in a unique location – a century old Armenian villa, that served for half a century as a school for deaf children. The exterior is magnificent. The interior – reminds me of my artwork! The work is a polydych, of four panels, called “Common Cypress”, the botanical name of the Mediterranean cypress. In Hebrew – ברוש מצוי Each panel is named buy a line from a song of the Israeli cannon, revealing a strong connection to this unique place.

Brosh-Matzui-A2000

Hamsin

בחמסין בקרה – מ”ברוש” של אהוד מנור ואריאל זילבר

Bab-el-Wad900

באב אל ואד – מילים חיים גורי

Numa-Eretz900

נומה עמק ראץ תפארת מ”שיר העמק, מילים נתן אלטרמן

Me-eretz-Merhakim900

מארץ מרחקים מ”אל הציפור” מילים חיים נחמן ביאליק

Images from the Gallery Talk

12113492_1020364467995615_4416441540934649578_o 12110009_1020364151328980_7839365100354067886_o 12031611_1020364084662320_829005038689059029_o 12027771_10153330616087408_8105636286069934071_n 10906459_10153609102248607_2712955218711766038_n

DSC_2877

DSC_2891
12038084_10153634649308610_5491917141575623502_n 12002376_10154306512039126_8357194304920433249_o

Studio Espionage

IMG_1290

IMG_1345

IMG_1301

IMG_1330

IMG_1339

IMG_1300

IMG_1342

IMG_1334

A peek at my painting process. Early May, 2013.
Pencil and ink, then gouache, on 3 “Claybord” panels. (Wood, coated with white clay.) 30 x 135 cm.

8 Persian Flasks, Feb 2015. Gouache and Ink, 46 x 61 cm

8 בקבוקים פרסיים, ציור של חנן מזל ירושלים

8 Persian Flasks, Feb 2015.  Gouache and ink on paper, 46 x 61 cm
שמונה בקבוקים פרסיים, פברואר 2015ץ גואש ודיו על נייר 46 * 61 ס”מ

One more in the series, this one being particularly challenging.

I often tell my students that simplicity is important: When challenging the viewer with something confusing, they must limit additional stimuli.
The way that Braque and Picasso used restricted, neutral palettes for their Cubist still lives.
And as in cooking: Best not to use every spice in the kitchen, in each dish. Choose your direction, and emphasize it alone.

Good advice that I chose not to follow.
I did not to practice what I preach, in order to stretch my abilities to a new limit. I wanted to see how much chaos can still be contained in a viable composition and in a pretty, pleasant painting.

The Orphaned Synagogue in Lomnice, Czech Rep. Built 1780-85

Synagogue in Lomnice.

 1780-85 בית הכנסת המיותם בלומניץ, צכיה

בציור הראשון וישן יותרממוקם בגלות האירופאי. בשניבשיבת ציון. מה שנשאר בעיירההיא רק בית הקברות היהודי. בית הכנסת עבר שיפוץ, ומשמש למרכז תרבות

In the first, older painting from 2012, I placed the  synagogue in the gray European exile. In the second painting from 2014 it is surrounded the Mediterranean fruit trees and sun of home.

בית הכנסת בלומניץ 2014 ציור חנן מזל ירושלים

Bohemia and Moravia once had the densest Jewish population in Europe. Jews were prohibited from living in the same municipality as Christians, and separate Jewish towns and villages were created, usually cordoned off by a stream or wall.

Other than Prague, which also had its own famous parallel Jewish town, Jews were not allowed to live in or near any other cities.

Discrimination reached a new peak under the Austrian Empress Maria Theresa. “Familiant” laws were introduced, restricting the number of Jewish households in each locality, and in the country as a whole. Accordingly, only one son per family was permitted to marry. Any secret “attic” weddings among younger siblings were unrecognized and illegal. Their children were considered to be illegitimate, and forced to emigrate at age 14. The mothers were sent to forced road construction as punishment for “wanton” behavior.

The Jewish population froze, and was forced to remained scattered in a vast number of tiny communities. Their physical reminders can still be found today in almost every townlet in the country.- such as this synagogue building. During the 19th century, these residence restrictions were gradually lifted. Most Jews moved to the cities. Many rural synagogues closed.

By the 1930s only 30 Jews were left in the Lomnice. The last sign of Jewish life is in a grave, from shortly before their deportation to Terezin, and onwards to death.

Jewish cemeteries were mandated to be built “over the hill” and out of the sight from Christian homes. The beautiful cemetery dating from the 17th century is well preserved, as are many old homes in the ghetto. The synagogue was used as a warehouse, but has been restored, and now serves as a cultural center and wedding venue.

Competing with the Bedspread?

Bronx Oranges by Chanan Mazal

.Bronx Oranges, 2012. Gouache on paper 46 x 61. Available

This is an old favorite of mine. My grandmother saved a bag of housecoats sewn for her by my grandfather, in Art Deco fabrics. It is funny how inspirations are stored in our memory.
I know that interior designers tend to select artwork, that won’t compete for attention with their more profitable choices of floor coverings and bedspreads… but this would be lovely in some countryside boutique hotel

Thirteen Persian Flasks, 2014

Thirteen Persian Flasks, 2014, painting by Chanan Mazal

Thirteen Persian Flasks, 2014. Gouache painting by Chanan Mazal, 46 x 61 cm

שלושה עשר בקבוקוים פרסיים, 20914. ציור גואש של חנן מזל

I started this one before my last visit to the US, and had a hard time going back to it. So I just went bonkers with splattering yellow and orange, and let it flow from there. Just let things go.
The controlled, cleanly drafted, identical bottles, all placed at an identical height, were in contradiction with the rest on the painting. So was my flat treatment of these bulbous forms, against the depth and flowing movement of the background