The Agam Museum opens in Rishon Lezion, Israel

The Yaacov Agam Museum of Art has recently opened in Rishon LeZion, childhood home of father of Kinetic Art and internationally acclaimed Israeli artist Yaacov Agam.

Located in Israel’s third largest city, just 10 minutes south from Tel Aviv, the Museum – a joint initiative of the Rishon LeZion Municipality and the artist – will showcase six decades of Agam’s groundbreaking artistic research and present in temporary exhibitions and permanent displays some of his most important artworks, coming from prestigious Israeli and worldwide collections and museums.

Yaacov Agam’s art, which engages and fascinates all ages and audiences, from curious tots to sophisticated museum aficionados, spans a breathtaking range of artistic expressions – transformable sculptures and paintings, reliefs paintings, interactive digital art, objects, installations and sound works amongst others. Agam, at the age of 89, continues to renew himself with untiring enthusiasm and aims to establish the Museum as the worldwide center of his artistic philosophy and award winning visual education approach – and as one of the sole museums entirely dedicated to kinetic art.

The Agam Museum offers us to see “beyond the visible” and experience art that reflects reality as a “constant becoming” – a totality unreducible to any single one of its appearances in time or space. Each visitor is thus invited to explore and actively interact with Agam’s multifaceted and ever-changing artworks, immersing himself in what the artist calls the 4th dimension – the dimension of time and movement, change and the unexpected.

Designed by celebrated architect David Nofar, and surrounded by a Sculpture Garden, the museum 3,200 square meter monumental spaces and complex architecture invites for a meditative and awe-inspiring visit.

Gracing the entrance of the building, the lobby and central hall, Agam’s “Pilars of Clila”, courtesy of the Kadar Family and Naomi Foundation, features 29 intricately designed columns blurring the partition between outside and inside. The visitor wandering through this majestic work of art, experiences a vibrant visual symphony where each steps reveals new motives leading from the shaded exterior Piazza to the main exhibition hall.

The building’s central ramp displays the exquisitely colored “Panoramagam”, a twenty-two meter long relief painting, originally exhibited on the bow of the famous Guggenheim Museum in New-York, and specially commissioned for Agam’s historic 1980 exhibition. As the visitor paces to and fro along the curved walls, the vivid rhythmically punctuated color scales fade in and out of a meditative white, like rainbow springing from light.

The Museum venue includes a multistage media hall and will host exhibits, performances and events in the spirit of the artist’s work and credo. In addition, the museum will program conferences, seminars and tours as well as a variety of activities, trainings and creative workshops for all audiences, children and families, in Hebrew, Arabic and English.

Yaacov Agam, the father of the Kinetic Movement in Modern Art, and one of the world’s leading artists of the twentieth century was born on May 11, 1928 and raised in the then small town of Rishon LeZion in a family steeped in Jewish spiritual values. The son of a rabbi, Agam shared his time between the lessons of his “Melamed” (religious teacher) – who introduced him to the mosaic commandment “thou shall not make a graven image”- and the teachings of nature, as the sand dunes of Rishon LeTzion inspired him to trace drawings that would change constantly with the blowing wind.

An aspiring artist, he studied at the Bezalel School of Art in Jerusalem, followed by Zurich and Paris, under the tutelage of famous artists such as Mordechai Ardon and Johanness Itten. But as Agam acknowledges, it was his childhood spiritual roots and his understanding of Judaism as opposed to the reification of time that ultimately shaped his artistic credo. Agam’s landmark 1953 solo exhibition at the Gallery Craven in Paris marked the beginning of the Kinetic Movement, introducing for the first time in art moveable and transformable paintings that expressed the dynamic and unexpected nature of reality and enabled the viewer’s active participation.

From the 1950’s to the present, Yaacov Agam works have been purchased by prestigious collections and displayed in numerous exhibitions in the most important museums around the world, including the Moma and Guggenheim in New York and the Pompidou Center in Paris – where his “Salon Agam” is included in the Museum’s top list of collection Masterpieces. In addition, his works are displayed in famous venues such as the Elysee Palace in Paris, the White House and others, and his monumental and environmental artworks adorn public spaces in major metropolitan areas – New-York, Buenos Aires, Tokyo, Saint Petersburg and Paris to name a few.

In the Israeli public sphere, the artist is especially renowned for the iconic “Water and Fire” fountain at Dizengoff Square in Tel Aviv and the vibrant design of the façades of the Dan Hotel on the Tel Aviv promenade and of the Ne’eman Towers in north Tel Aviv. His works are also regularly displayed, amongst other places, at the President’s Residence and by the Western Wall square in Jerusalem, and in the Israel Museum and the Tel-Aviv Museum of Art – where his monumental “Pace of Time” painting has been welcoming entering visitors since the Museum inception.

Address - Yaacov Agam Museum of Art, 1 Meishar Street, Kiryat Haleum, Rishon LeZion

Timings - The Museum is open Monday and Thursday10:00-19:00Tuesday and Wednesday10:00-16:00Saturday – 10:00-14:00.

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