Friday, 7 May 2010

Avigdor Arikha

(Self Portrait- 1977)
Avigdor Arikha ... 28 April 1929 - 29 April 2010

Avigdor Arikha was an Israeli artist (originally born in Romania) who I only discovered today via the wonders of BBC Radio 4.
He established himself as an abstract artist and did great, expressive paintings until 1965 when he stopped painting and began drawing. He drew the people and things around him for the next eight or so years up to when he got the urge to paint again.

This is an abstract painting Arikha did in 1961, (I've failed to procure the actual name) I like the mark making and the colour in it, I get the impression of some kind of anger or angst but then again I could be reading far too much into this, due to the fact I don't generally understand abstract art.

Olympia 1977

Arikha had an interesting life. Born in Romania to a Jewish family, during the war his family were relocated to a labour camp where his father died. He and his sister were freed after he drew deportation scenes and showed them to Red Cross Delegates. After some time in another war he eventually went to art school.

The Queen Mother 1983

Arikha did no preliminary drawings before his paintings, he did them all in one session. He had an hour and a half (according to a friend speaking on the radio) to paint the Queen Mother in 1983 (above). This interests me I may try and do some first off paintings in one go.

It's a shame I only discovered him through the Radio telling me that he had died, but I'm glad I found him I like his work very much.

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