Tel Aviv-Jaffa Mosaic

Enzo Cucchi

Tel Aviv Museum of Art

This mosaic connects the lower and upper levels of the Museum's sculpture garden, and is composed of four units. The first unit, which is located on the garden's lowest level, is devoted to two motifs central to Enzo Cucchi's spiritual universe – the staff and the bow. The second unit contains three motifs – a narrow, elongated cypress tree, waves, and reddish-yellow suns that seem to be rising above the cypress or setting into it. The tree symbolizes the limits of the world as we know it, and perhaps also the desire to transcend these limits. Cypresses are often planted in cemeteries throughout the Mediterranean region; in ancient times, they were chosen because they constituted a paoint of orientation in the landscape, while later on they were appreciated for their "Gothic" proportions. The central
image in the third unit is a halved orange. The overflowing fruit segments underscore the orange's presence as a symbol of fertility, plenty, and pregnancy. The fourth unit was described by Cucchi as representing rain; more precisely, it depicts a metaphorical downpour over Tel Aviv and Jaffa. The word "Yafo" (the Hebrew name for Jaffa), which is written in Latin letters, and the word "Tel Aviv," which is written in Hebrew, are organically interwoven into this mosaic unit. Ancient Jaffa and Tel Aviv, the modern Hebrew city, are united here as a container that swallows the rainwater.


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