Yaacov Agam  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Yaacov Agam (born Yaacov Gipstein on May 11, 1928) is an Israeli sculptor and experimental artist best known for his contributions to optical and kinetic art. Born in Rishon LeZion, Israel (Palestine at the time) to a religious family, Agam trained at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem, before moving to Zürich and then to Paris, where he settled. His first solo exhibition was at the Galerie Graven in 1953, and in 1955 he established himself as one of the leading pioneers of kinetic art at the Le Mouvement exhibition at the Galerie Denise René, alongside such artists as Jesús Rafael Soto, Carlos Cruz-Díez, Pol Bury, Alexander Calder and Jean Tinguely.

Agam's work is usually abstract, kinetic art, with movement, viewer participation and frequent use of light and sound. His best known pieces include "Double Metamorphosis III" (1965), "Visual Music Orchestration" (1989) and fountains at the La Défense district in Paris (1975) and in Dizengoff Square in Tel Aviv (1986). He is also known for a type of print known as an Agamograph, which uses lenticular printing to present radically different images, depending on the angle from which it is viewed. The lenticular technique was executed in large scale in the 30' x 30' (9.14 M x 9.14 M) "Complex Vision" (1969) which adorns the facade of the Callahan Eye Foundation Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama.

In 1996 Agam was awarded the Jan Amos Comenius Medal by UNESCO for the "Agam Method" for visual education of young children.



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