"The Annunciation of Sarah", Jose Gurvich 65 Years of Friendship Israel – Uruguay Joint Issue

October 28th, 2013

In 2013 the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Uruguay and Israelis celebrated.

The year of Israel's Declaration of Independence, 1948, marked the beginning of a long shared journey of deep-rooted friendship between the two countries.

Ambassador Yaakov Tsur – the first Ambassador of Israel in Latin America and the fourth in the world, was posted in Montevideo. This historic bond is not just a matter of nostalgia, good will and warm feelings among friends, it embraces the cause of promoting and strengthening the relations and cooperation between peoples, today and in the future.

The joint Israel – Uruguay Stamp Issue is also an homage to the Postal Services of both countries for their contribution to strengthening everyday communications through a multitude of letters expressing hope, dreams and best wishes.

The art of Jose Gurvich is a unique way of showcasing the bond that exists between the two countries, thanks to his Uruguayan and Israeli heritage.

Historic Reference about Jose Gurvich

Jose Gurvich was born in Jieznas, a small shtetl near Vilnius, Lithuania on January 5th 1927. In 1932 he left for Montevideo, Uruguay to join his father Jacobo, who had gone a year earlier. At age 17, he met Joaquin Torres Garcia and quickly joined his workshop, El Taller Torres Garcia or The School of the South. He was one of its leading members until its closure in 1962. In 1954-55 Gurvich arrived in Israel, where he stayed at Kibbutz Ramot Menashe for a year working as a shepherd. During that time, he presented a show at the Mane Katz Gallery and met Israeli artists Naftali Bezem, Eva Kaufman and Dani Karavan. He travelled to Europe with Dani Karavan, with whom he shared the teachings of Joaquin Torres Garcia.

Jose Gurvich returned to Israel again in 1964-65 and 1969-70. During each year-long visit he stayed with his wife Julia and son Martin either at Kibbutz Ramot Menashe or in Tel Aviv where he exhibited at the Mane Katz Gallery. His friendship with Naftali Bezem and Eva Kaufman, as well as other artists, continued throughout the years.

On his last trip to Israel in 1969-70, Gurvich produced a series of biblical works in homage to his mother, who had cancer. The work The Annunciation of Sarah is part of that series and attests to his search into his Jewish religious and cultural roots, which where kept and passed on by his beloved mother.

Jose Gurvich spent the last years of his life, 1970 to 1974,in New York City, where he died at the age of 47 on the 24th of June. On precisely the same day his works were released by American Customs for an upcoming show which never took placae, due to his death. He was buried at Kibbutz Ramot Menashe alongside his mother, father, sister and wife.