Avigdor Arikha (April 28, 1929 – April 29, 2010), Romanian-born French-Israeli painter, draughtsman, printmaker and art historian.


"Arikha’s portraits are ungainly and awkward, but also touching in their attempts to make a genuine likeness in a limited amount of time. His drawings, made with sumi ink brushed directly onto the paper, graphite, silver-point and pastel, are some of the most exquisite renditions of objects made in the last fifty years. A pot of flowers, the tops of a tree or the side of a pot are all that is needed for a moment of observation and introspection." http://www.thoughtsthatcureradically.com/2012/03/avigdor-arikha-works-from-estate.html


"The Israeli painter Avigdor Arikha, who has died from cancer aged 81, owed his survival during the Holocaust to his precocious artistic talent. In 1944 his bleak drawings of corpses and deportations, made on scraps of paper in a Nazi concentration camp, attracted the attention of inspectors from the International Red Cross. They arranged for him to join a group of children who were about to be transported to Palestine, but, even with their help, Arikha was able to leave only by taking the identity of a boy who had just died."

The exquisite poise and quiet understatement of the work of Avigdor Arikha belies in style its passionate author, who died in Paris last week at 81. His paintings and pastels, infused with light and light in touch, were executed from direct observation and alla prima – in a single session. His character, on the other hand, was forged in darkness.
Arikha was the supreme marvel of Israeli art, despite having only ever lived in the promised land for five years, in his youth. A survivor of Nazi labor camps and an arduous wartime trek to Palestine (his drawings, shown to a Red Cross delegation, secured his and his mother’s release—his father was later murdered), Arikha fought in Israel’s War of Independence and was given up for dead from injuries sustained. ... artcritical.com
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