Avigdor Arikha (Dlugach) (1929 – 2010) Born in Bukovina, Romania. emigrated to Israel in 1944 and settled in a kibbutz near Jerusalem. Studied at the Bezlael Academy, and later at the Ecole des Beaux Arts and philosophy at the Sorbonne in Paris.
Arikha’s early work can be described as gloomy and mysterious abstract.
Since the 1970’s his work has shown a direct connection to the French impressionism in terms of space and fact, he paints static objects in a dynamic surfaces and creates rhythm between the revealed and the hidden dimension.
But Arikha is not jut a mere realistic painter; like his colleagues, R.B. Kitaj and David Hockney, he insist on painting his objects standing in front of him.
By doing that, he is not only telling something about the “truth of things” but also suggesting we can only trust the here and now. The past is subject to all kinds of reinterpretation, and the future is simply a matter for speculation.
Arikha’s goal is an allover dazzle of light that sees to come, as in the case of Vermeer and Velazquez, magically from within the painting itself. Light is, for him, the only acceptable illusion in painting because it is inherently immaterial. Arikha brings to bear a deep knowledge of chromatic theory that informs him delicately restricted palette.
Avigdor Arikha has exhibited in the most important galleries and museums over the world, including the British museum, the Center Pompidou, the San Fransisco museum of art and at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. He also curated several exhibitions at the Louvre (on Poussin) and at the Musee des Beaux-Arts, Dijon (on Ingres).
1946-1949 New Bezalel, Jerusalem
1949-1951 École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris, France
Fresco, Fresco Studion under Pierre-Henri Ducos de la Haille, France
Awards And Prizes
1954 Gold Medal, Triennial for Applied Art, Milan, Italy
1959 Prize, Painters and Sculptors Exhibition, Graduates of Youth Aliyah
1978 Chevalier des Arts et Lettres, France
1987 Grand Prix des Arts de la Ville Paris, Paris, France
1989 Prix des Arts des Lettres et des Sciences, Fondation du Judaïsme Français, Paris, France
1995 Honorary Professor, National Academy of Fine Arts of China, Hangchow, China
1997 Doctor Honoris Causa of Philosophy, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem
2005 Chevallier de la Légion d’Honneur, Paris, France