Yaacov Agam (Israeli, b.1928) is a renowned sculptor. He was born in Mandate Palestine, and lived there until 1949, the year after the establishment of the State of Israel. While living in Mandate Palestine, Agam studied in Jerusalem at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design. Following his 1949 move to Switzerland, he studied at Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule and the Zurich University. He moved to Paris in 1951.

Agam is considered one of the founders of kinetic art. Kinetic artworks typically contain moving elements and rely on motion provided by natural forces, motors, or human intervention in order to achieve their visual effects. In a twist on the classic model of kinetic art, Agam's sculpture Peaceful Communication with the World is painted in such a way that children's growth will change how the work appears to them as they get taller. In a more traditional vein, his Fire and Water Fountain uses mechanically driven parts to help achieve the visual effects.

Agam works almost entirely in sculpture, with many of the sculptures on a massive scale. One of his more famous pieces called Hanukkah Menorah is located in New York City, stands 32 feet high, and can function as a menorah. His sculptures appear in numerous cities around the world, including Jerusalem, Paris, Tel Aviv, Los Angeles, and the Bahamas. He has held exhibitions and retrospectives at both museums and galleries. His work has been shown in retrospectives at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Musee National d'art Moderne in Paris, and the Tel Aviv Museum. His solo exhibitions have appeared at Marlborough-Gerson Gallery in New York, the Museo de Arte Modemo in Mexico, and the Jewish Museum in New York. In addition to artistic work, Agam routinely involves himself in art education, with lectures delivered at universities and conventions. In 1968, he served as a guest lecturer at Harvard University, where he taught a course on visual communication. Some of his educational ideas for enhancing the cognitive and creative skills of children have been implemented in Israel. The artist currently lives and works in Paris.

Timeline

Awarded First Prize International Festival of Painting, Cagnes-sur-Mer, France

Exhibitions

2012
The Small Utopia. Ars Multiplicata - Fondazione Prada, Milan
2011
Blast from the Past: 60s and 70s Geometric Abstractions - Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs, CA
2003
Yaacov Agam - Orchestration Visuelle - Galerie Denise René - Espace Marais, Paris
2003
Agam - Galerie Denise René - Rive Gauche, Paris
2001
Yaakov Agam: Agamografi - Gallery of Fine Arts / Galerija likovnih umjetnosti, Osijek, Osijek
1999
Festival Cervantino Mexico City, Mexico
1996
Yaacov Agam, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes Buenos Aires, Argentina
1993
Manifeste, Une Histoire Parallele, 1960-1990, Centre National d'Art et Culture Georges Pompidou Paris, France
1989
Agam Father of Kinetic Art (traveling retrospective exhibition), Isetan Museum Tokyo, Japan
1986
Trends in Geometric Abstract Art, The Tel Aviv Museum Tel Aviv, Israel
1980
Agam Beyond the Visible, Guggenheim Museum New York, NY
1979
Shalom Jerusalem, Kadewe Berlin, Germany
1975
Agam Selected Suites, Jewish Museum New York, NY
1972–1973
Restrospective (traveling exhibition), Musée National d'Art Moderne Paris, France
1972
72, Douze ans d'art contemporain en France, 1960-1972, Grand Palais Paris, France
1967
Art and Movement (traveling exhibition), National Gallery of Canada Ottawa, Canada
1965–1966
The Responsive Eye, Museum of Modern Art New York, NY
1958
Art de XXI siècle, Musée d'Art Moderne Paris, France
1954
Salon de Realites Nouvelles Paris, France
1953
Galerie Craven Paris, France