Yaacov Agam Rugs
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Yaacov Agam – Born in 1928, Yaacov Agam (nee Yaakov Gipstein) is one of the bestselling Israeli artists famous for his kinetic sculptures and prismatic agam-ograph images that include secular abstracts as well as Judaic subjects. Agam was born in Israel and studied art in Jerusalem before working with some of the leading artists in Europe. By the 1960’s, Yaacov Agam became a mainstream sensation with his cutting-edge optical art, lenticular prints and geometric abstracts that translated exceptionally well into the textile mediums, including area carpets and tapestries.
Yaacov Agam has been honored with retrospective expositions at the Guggenheim and the Musée National d’Art Moderne in Paris.
Expositions at the Guggenheim Of Yaacov Agam:
In 1980, Thomas Messer, Director of the Guggenheim Museum in New York, invited Agam to conceive a large exhibition was poignantly entitled: “Agam: Beyond the Visible”. Talking of the basic principles behind his work, he wrote that for Agam “true reality is hidden beneath appearances and, in one sense, remains ‘abstract;’ complete and united from a divine outlook, it is nevertheless volatile and fragmented in the eyes of man; the noticeable fragments of reality are revealed to be simultaneous, parallel, overlapping, harmonic and contrapuntal; reality is not as palpable as certain static substances, but is more like a kinetic energy in perpetual motion; visibility and reality converse in a relationship of mutual transformation.”
Right in the centre of the great Guggenheim rotunda, Agam erected a monumental sculpture over fourteen metres high called the Tour Aenaitral (Aenaitral Tower), an anagram of Anita and Earl, the names of the Warsaw couple who commissioned the work. It comprises thirty-six superimposed parts measuring 1.44 x 1.44 metres on each side and its top reaches the upper ramp of the museum. Each side of the superimposed pieces is cut on the oblique and the tower is painted on all four sides using the same system as the three dimensional strips in his polymorphic paintings.
The tower’s structure recalls Agam’s pictorial vocabulary from the early 1950s, but its rhythmic ascent is also reminiscent of Constantin Brancusi’s Colonne sans fin (Infinite Column) erected in the Tîrgu Jiu Park in Romania 1937. Besides each conveying their own particular, and very different, artistic style, Agam’s tower and Brancusi’s column both have in common the idea of a steady vertical climb symbolising an aspiration towards the infinity of space, an ascension towards the spiritual invisibility hidden in the ethereal light of the cosmic void.
Agam’s sculpture rises on a vertical, central axis, and the space around it, in which works of art unfold in their often-halting climb, is lent weight by the circular ramp surrounding it. The visitor walking up or down this ramp gives a raison d’être to the empty space, and the thirty-six parts of the Tower create a rising and falling polyphony that may be observed from any point on the circular ramp, which is finally endowed with its own vocation.
The Beauty of Abstract Art in Rugs by Yaacov Agam
Beautiful Rugs and abstract art By Yaacov Agam – Bright colors and optical illusions don’t sound like ideal elements of rug design. But when Yaacov Agam does it, the result is an abstract a masterpiece. The Israeli-born artist has a unmatched talent for transforming colors into tangible works of art. It is an unexpected technique for textiles, but with his genius, it translates beautifully.
Agam began his career in earnest in 1953, when he pioneered the kinetic art movement. Calling his work a “spectator sport,” he used light, sound and color to explore the illusory realm:
“My intention was to create a work of art which would transcend the visible, which cannot be perceived except in stages, with the understanding that it is a partial revelation and not the perpetuation of the existing. My aim is to show what can be seen within the limits of possibility which exists in the midst of coming into being.”
An accomplished painter, sculptor and experimentalist, his work is in Paris’s Musee National D’Art Moderne and New York’s Guggenheim Museum and Museum of Modern Art. Hailed as the highest-selling Israeli artist, he was also awarded the Jan Amos Comenius Medal by UNESCO for his educational outreach.
Despite this international reputation, Agam’s work isn’t exclusive to the world’s art elite. Some of his greatest pieces are arguably his vintage rugs from Nazmiyal. With his signature abstract style enhanced by the tangibility of textiles, they take viewer perceptions – and interior design – to a whole new level.
What do you think of Agam’s rugs? Let us know in the comments below!
Selected one person exhibitions of Agam:
1953 Galerie Craven, Paris
1956 Agam, Soto, abner, Galerie Denis René, Paris.
1958 Galerie Aujourd’hui, Paris
1959 Galerie Suzanne Bollage, Zurich
1959 Darian Gallery, London
1962 Galerie Suzanne Bollage, Zurich
1966 Marlborough- Gerson Gallery, New York
1971 Galerie Denis René, Paris.
1972 Graphic Works, Galerie Denis René, Paris.
1973 Retrospective exhibition, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris
1973 Maison de la Culture, Bourges
1974 Video- Art exhibition, Galerie Attali, Paris
1974 Hook- Epstein Gallery, Houston, USA
1975 Agam Selected Suits, the Jewish Museum, New- York
1976 Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico City
1976 Museum of Modern Art, Birmingham, Alabama
1977 Janus Gallery, Wahington D.C.
1977 National Museum of Art, Capetown, South Africa
1977 The Museum of Pretoria
1978 Nahan Art Gallery, New- Orleans
1978 Electric Gallery, Toronto
1978 R.E.S Gallery, Antwerp
1978 J. Richard Gallery, Englewood, New- Jersey
1979 Harcourts Gallery, San Fransisco
1979 New Castle Regional Art Gallery, Austrlia
1979 Kolding Kunstforening, Denmark
1980 Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Launceston, Tasmania, Austrlia
1980 Liatowitsch Gallery, Basel
1980 Queensland, Australia
1982 Circle Gallery, Pittsburg
1983 Circle Gallery, Chicago
1984 Laurence Ross Galleries, Beverley Hills
1984 From the 2nd, to the 3rd into the 4th Dimension, Clayton Art Gallery, st. Louis.
1984 Retrospective exhibition, Park West Galleries, Michigan
1985 Retrospective exhibition, Queen’s Quay Terminal, Toronto
1985 Circle Gallery, San Diego
1986 Los Angeles Art Fair, Los Angeles
1986 Image à Mémoire Dynamique, FIAC exhibit, Paris
1987 Kahala Fine Art Gallery, Honolulu, Hawaii
1988 Multi Dimensional Works, Galerie Denis René, Paris.
1989 Isetan Museum of Art, Tokyo
Selected group exhibitions of Agam:
1954 Salon des Réalités Nouvelles, Paris
1954 Grandes Toiles de Montparnasse, American Center for Students and Artists, Paris
1955 Discoveries, Serigraph Gallery, New York
1955 Le Mouvement, Galerie Denis René, Paris.
1955 Structure, Galerie l’Ami des Lettres, Paris
1956 Salon des Réalités Nouvelles, Paris
1956 L’art Abstrait Constructing, Gallerie H. Matarasso, Nice
1956 Cinquante Ans de Peinture Abstraite, Galerie Creuze, Paris
1956 Architecture Contemporaine. Integration des Arts, Musée des Beaux Arts, Rouen
1958 Arts du 21 Siécle, Museum of Modern Art, Charleroi, Belgium
1959 Represents Israel at the first Biennale de Paris, Musée d’art
1960 Construction and Geometry in Painting: from Malevich until Tomorrow, Galeire Chalette, New York (and tour).
1960 Le Relief, Galerie 20th Siécle, Paris
1961 Bewogen Beweging, Stedelik Museum, Amsterdam
1961 Salon de Mai, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris
1962 Modern Art Of Israel, Tokyo (and tour).
1963 Sao Paulo Biennale- prize for artistic research premier salon international de Galeries Pilotes, Musée Cantonal, Lausanne
1963 Art & Movement, Tel Aviv Museum, Israel
1964 On the Move: International Exhibition of Kinetic Art, Howard Wise Gallery, New York
1964 Venice Biennale
1965 The Responsive Eye, the Museum of Modern Art, New York
1966 Primary Structures, the Jewish Museum, New York
1967 Art and Movement, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
1967 Art Contemporain, Pavillion de la France, Motreal
1968 Painting in France, 1900-1967, National Gallery, Washington D.C. and the Metropolitan Museum
1969 Masterpieces of Modern Art, Galerie Denis René, Paris.
1969 Agam, Lifschitz, Zaritsky: Three Israeli Artists, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London
1970 first prize in the international festival of painting, Cagnessur- Mer
1971 Art & Science, Tel Aviv Museum, Israel
1971 25 Ans de peinture en France, 1945- 1970, National Museum, Seoul
1972 72 Douze ans d’Art contemporain en France, Grand Palais, Paris
1976 Grand et Jeunes d’aujourd’hui, Grand Palais, Paris
1979 Meissner Editions, Art Center, Hong Kong
1982 Le Totem, Musée de l’Homme, Paris
1986 Trend in Geometric Abstract Art, Tel Aviv Museum
1988 3rd International Shoebox Sculpture Exhibition, Taiwan