“Art is breath. It comes through breath. It dwells in breath”, Avigdor Arikha once wrote.
The first ever exhibition in Greece of internationally acclaimed, Paris-based, modern master Avigdor Arikha (1929-2010).
Avigdor Arikha (1929-2010) was born in Romania, to German-speaking Romanian Jewish parents. Though he traveled frequently to London, New York and Jerusalem, he lived most of his life in Paris and died there.
A talented child, Arikha started drawing early on. During WWII, he was deported to a concentration camp in the Ukraine, where he drew the horrors he witnessed. These drawings saved his life. During the ’50s he established himself in Paris and started a successful career as an abstract painter. In 1965, a Caravaggio exhibition prompted him to convert to drawing from life. He stopped using colour until 1973, when he started painting from life as well. He worked with a religious, almost war-like intensity, until his death.
An erudite, passionate scholar endowed with a deep knowledge of the history of art and its techniques, as well as of world history, fascinated by science, he wrote many essays and curated important exhibitions of respected masters such as Poussin, Velasquez, Ingres. He is rightly considered to be among the best artists of his generation, together with the likes of Lucian Freud or R.B. Kitaj. His works figure in public and private collections worldwide, and retrospective exhibitions were held at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art (1998), Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Palais des Beaux Arts de Lille (1999), British Museum (2006), Museum Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid (2008), amongst others.
Benaki Museum’s exhibition presents more than 50 important paintings and drawings from the artist’s estate and private collections.