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Yaacov Agam

Born May 11, 1928 in Rishon LeZion, Israel, Yaacov Agam is the son of a rabbi and Kabbalist whose spirituality inspired Agam in part to pursue that theme in his physical artworks. Agam began his art career with his studies at Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem, and moved to Zurich, Switzerland in 1949 where he studied with a key figure in the Bauhaus Art movement, Johannes Itten, before settling in Paris, France in 1951.

As one of the distinctive figures emerging from the Kinetic Art movement as it gained identity in the 1950's, Agam specializes in creating artworks that depend on motion for their full effect, or give the strong impression of movement to the viewer's eye. He diffracts physicality into sharp sound-bytes of line and color meant to be approached from different perspectives and angles, arranging shapes and shades into compositions that are on the verge of transformation. A renowned sculptor, designer and painter, Agam has also made deft use of a technique known as lenticular printing, whereby an image is diffracted into two or more images which are then spliced together in offset increments, so the eye sees different parts of the image from different angles. He calls the works he creates in this style 'Agamographs'.

Yaacov Agam is one of the most innovative, challenging, and pioneering artists in the world today, having been commissioned to create hundreds of large-scale monuments, sculptures, building designs and Interactive Art-Spaces that inhabit large public arenas: his "Jacob's Ladder" forms the ceiling of the National Convention House in Jerusalem; a ship-wide 'floating museum' for the Carnival Cruise Line's luxury cruise ship "Celebration" saw Agam's work in every public space and cabin (1987); a 6-part fire-and-water breathing monument stands at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem; entire buildings like the Dan Hotel in Tel Aviv, and the Mondrian Hotel in Los Angeles (1984) become giant canvases for his color studies...and the list goes on.

Agam continues to create, as well as lecture around the world on his theories and experiments with shape, movement, light and color, always with the aim of educating people on the possibilities and promise that there is always more than meets the eye... in 1996, Agam was awarded the Jan Amos Comenius Medal from UNESCO "for having devised a particularly effective method of visual teaching for children." In 2005, he was voted the 195th-greatest Israeli of all time, in a poll by the Israeli news website Ynet, and is the highest-selling Israeli artist: his 1980 work "Growth", an outsized oil painting on wood panel, sold in 2010 for a record breaking $698,000.