Marlborough Fine Art London is pleased to present an exhibition of significant works by Avigdor Arikha (1929 – 2010) from his estate.
Many children draw, but Avigdor Arikha’s drawings were noticed at the age of twelve, when he was deported to a Romanian-run concentration camp in Transnistria. His drawings of the harrowing scenes he had witnessed in the camp, were shown to Red Cross delegates, and were the catalyst for the transportation of Arikha and 1500 further children to Palestine in 1944. After studying at Jerusalem’s Bezalel School of Art, followed by a scholarship to the École des Beaux Arts in Paris, Arikha struck up close friendships with Alberto Giacometti and Samuel Beckett, whose sparing use of language taught him the significance of every brush stroke. These friendships lasted throughout their lives and accompanied Arikha in the creative shift from his abstract period to what he described as his ‘post-abstract naturalism’.
The exhibition covers the last 45 years of Arikha’s life. He lived as an artist, writer, lecturer and curator. It will explore Arikha’s diverse use of mediums, ranging from pencil, graphite and ink brush (notably Sumi ink), drawings, etchings and aquatint prints, to oils, watercolours and colour pastels. Arikha’s estate is notable in its diversity of subject matter, in which no one genre is privileged over another. Instead, it is the execution of the works that holds utmost importance.
The transience of passing instances can be perceived in Arikha’s work, in which the unnoticed and unchecked becomes a lasting and permanent subject, revealing the strangeness of familiar objects, angles and bodies, the fragility of what we observe, and at the same time, its continuance.