Yaacov Agam (ISRAELI, 1928)

Composition

Print on plastic

40 x 40 cm

Yaakov Agam was born Yaakov Gipstein on 11 May 1928, in Rishon LeZion, then Mandate Palestine. His father, Yehoshua Gibstein, was a rabbiand a kabbalist

Agam trained at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem, before moving to Zürich, Switzerland in 1949, where he studied under Johannes Itten (1888–1967) at the Kunstgewerbe Schule, and was also influenced by the painter and sculptor Max Bill (1908–1994). In 1951 Agam went to Paris, France, where he still lives.

Agam's first solo exhibition was at the Galerie Graven in 1953, and he exhibited three works at the 1954 Salon des Réalités Nouvelles. He established himself as one of the leading pioneers of kinetic art at the Le Mouvement exhibition at the Galerie Denise René in 1955, alongside such artists as Jesús Rafael SotoCarlos Cruz-DíezPol BuryAlexander Calder and Jean Tinguely.

Agam had a retrospective exhibition in Paris at the Musée National d'Art Moderne in 1972, and at the Guggenheim Museum in New York in 1980, among others. His works are held in numerous museum collections including the Museum of Modern Art] and the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum.

Agam is the highest-selling Israeli artist. In a Sotheby's New York auction in November 2009, when his “4 Themes Contrepoint” was sold for $326,500, he said: “This does not amaze me ... my prices will go up, in keeping with the history I made in the art world.” A year later, his “Growth”, an outsize kinetic painting done in oil on a wood panel, which was shown at the 1980 retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum, estimated at $150,000 to $250,000, sold for the record-breaking sum of $698,000

 

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