LONDON.- The British Museum will open on June 29 an exhibition of drawings and paintings made by Avigdor Arikha. The show titled Avigdor Arikha from life Drawings and Prints 1965-2005 through January 7, 2007. An exhibition honouring Avigdor Arikha and his gift to the British Museum of 100 works on paper, From Life: Drawings and Prints 1965-2005 explores the artist's movement away from abstract work, to drawing from life.
Paris-based Israeli painter, draughtsman, printmaker and writer, Avigdor Arikha was born in Romania in 1929 to Jewish parents. Schooled in Palestine 's Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts, and then the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, he is noted for his realistic and spontaneous rendering of his subject, particularly portraits, nudes and still lifes.
For Paris-based painter Avigdor Arikha, the repertoire of subjects could hardly be more prosaic. Still lives are simple collections of household objects: Seven Tomatoes, Four Kinds of Hat, Stool and Shoes. Portraits are set against neutral backgrounds and show men often clothed in a uniform of shirt and tie and suit (Richard Morphet, Leon Wieseltier) and women often naked and seated or reclining. A landscape may be the view through a window, a nearby tree, the wall of a neighboring house.
The subject is the quotidian and its presentation apparently matter-of-fact. But distinction is achieved by Arikha's insistence on the separateness of each and every object and person. ln contrast to Morandi, for whom unity was achieved by touch and tone. Arikha's achieves harmony through colour and composition. While Morandi generalised, Arikha particularises.