Yaacov Agam

Yaakov Agam (1928 - Today) was born in Rishon Letzion, then a small town, to a religious family. His father was a rabbi who was interested in Kabbalah and Jewish spirituality. As a child he studied with different rabbis in a synagogue in his city, because at the time there was no religious education framework in the community. In 1936 he experienced, as a spectator, a terror attack that left it's mark on him. In 1940, he began painting, influenced by the book "The Desire for Life" by Irwin Stone. In 1945 he was arrested for eight months by the British Army, on suspicion of being a member of an underground movement.

In 1946 he studied at the New Bezalel in Jerusalem. Under the influence of Mordecai Ardon, he went to study in Zurich in 1949, where he became acquainted with the ideas of constructivist art and the Bauhaus movement. In 1951 he went to Paris and approached the Surrealist circle in the city. At first he made a living as a teacher at a seminar of the Jewish Agency. In 1953 he first created "polyphonic images" - kinetic works that change in relation to the viewer's point of view. In 1967 he created his first sculptures and in 1986 began to use stainless steel for the first time. In 1996 he was awarded the UNESCO Prize for Education following his unique program of visual education in early childhood.

Agam's work is characterized by abstract images based on Jewish-Kabbalistic iconography. In many of his works there are contradictory images that, according to the artist, unite into a single recognition of the process of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis. Among his well-known works is Salon Agam (1971-1975), which was built for the Elysee Palace in Paris, the Fountain of Water and Fire (1986) in Dizengoff Square and the Dan Hotel (1986) in Tel Aviv-Jaffa.

© 2018 by the Engel Gallery.

13 Shlomzion Hamalka st. Jerusalem
100 Ben Yehuda st. Tel-Aviv

  • email round logo red
  • facebook round logo red
  • insta round logo red
  • tripadvisor round logo red