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Yaacov Agam Biography

Yaacov Agam is an Israeli-born sculptor and experimental artist who has lived in Paris. He studied at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem before moving to Switzerland, where he attended the Kunstgewerbe Schule. Major influences at the time were Yaacov Agam’s teacher, Johannes Itten, and the painter and sculptor Max Bill. Yaacov Agam has had two major retrospectives of his art: at National d’Art Moderne in Paris in 1972 and the Guggenheim Museum in New York in 1980. His large scale works adorn public spaces in Paris and in Tel Aviv, where his “Fire and Water Fountain” is the centerpiece at Dizengoff Square. His “Hanukkah Menorah” in New York plays an active role in the yearly lighting celebration for the holiday.

Yaacov Agam’s work is most often abstract and kinetic. He incorporates elements of light and sound into many of his works. The viewer is not always passive, but becomes a participant in the work. Large works are constructions using traditional materials such as steel and concrete. In his print work, he is the creator of the self-named “Agamograph”. Here Yaacov Agam uses lenticular printing to create radically different perceptions than those of a usual two-dimensional print. While a young man in Paris, Yaacov Agam exhibited alongside artists Jesus Rafael Soto, Carlos Cruz-Diaz, Pol Bury, Alexander Calder and Jean Tinguely.

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