Yaacov Agam: Art in Motion
Yaacov Agam is a pioneer in kinetic art, still working as an artist in Paris. He is credited as the inventor of the agamograph, a type of artwork that changes in appearance as the viewer moves around it. He believed that static paintings were inadequate to express the constantly-occurring changes in the world around us, and that Judaism’s belief in the dynamic nature of life should be reflected in art as well.
“My intention was to create a work of art which would transcend the visible, which cannot be perceived except in stages, with the understanding that is is a partial revelation and not the perpetuation of the existing.”
Titled “Rhythme Blanc Noir #2: In & Out” limited edition lenticular print ‘agamograph’
Born May 11, 1928, Yaacov Agam is the son of an orthodox rabbi who was a scholar and writer. Since childhood Agam showed interest in drawing and art, and despite not beginning formal education until he was 13, he was enrolled in the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem at the age of 18. There, he studied under Johannes Itten and Mordecai Ardon, artists associate with the Bauhouse School movement.
Agam went to study with Itten at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Zurich, Germany in 1950, meeting Frank Lloyd Wright and Siegfried Giedion while abroad. Their ideas on time as an element in art and architecture impressed and influenced him. A year later Agam moved to and ultimately settled in Paris, France. He was met by world-famous Surrealist artists who were the first to discover and support him. By 1953, Agam held his first one-man exhibition in Paris at Galerie Craven, featuring “kinetic and transformable” paintings encouraging spectator participation. Throughout his career, Agam continued to push the boundaries of traditional art forms, and his work has been exhibited in galleries and museums around the world, including France, the United States, Hongkong and Germany. His sculptural work is also featured in many public installations, from the gardens of Israel’s presidential palace to New York’s Central park.
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