AGAM, Yaacov

Yaacov Agam Jewish 1928-

Yaacov Agam, kinetic artist,born in 1928, Mandate Palestine. Agam’s initial training in art was at the Bezalel School in Jerusalem. In 1949, he moved to Zurich, staying for two years before he moved to Paris.He studied under the Bauhaus’ color-theoretician, Johannes Itten, and then rejected traditional static concepts of painting and sculpture. He’s created a body of work that’s optic in nature, changing with movement. The viewer may participate by manually transforming the work or by physically passing by, viewing the image change at various angles. He has enjoyed great public success since his first one-person show in Paris in 1953, and has become one of the most influential artists of modern times.

In 1972, he held a retrospective exhibition in Paris at the Musée National d’Art Moderne. In 1980, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York held the retrospective exhibition “Beyond the Visible” and his “Selected Suites” were at the Jewish Museum, New York (1975). He has paintings in museums all over the world, including “Double Metamorphosis 11” in the Museum of Modern Art in New York and “Transparent Rhythms 11 “in the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

For his work he has received numerous awards: Prize for Artistic Research, Sao Paulo, Biennal, Brazil (1963); guest lecturer, Harvard University (1968), Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres (1974); Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy, Tel Aviv University (1975); and the Medal of the Council of Europe (1977). In 1996, he was awarded the Jan Amos Comenius Medal by UNESCO and in 1999 he created the winner’s trophy for the Eurovision Song Contest in Jerusalem.

Agam also writes extensively about his work and has had several books published on his imagery, concepts, and exhibitions including, “Agam,” written by Frank Popper and published by Harry Abrams.

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