Monday, March 3, 2008

The Op Art of Yaacov Agam

"My aim is to create art that exists in time as well as in space"...Yaacov Agam.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I love optical illusions. I have a collection of little plastic images from gumball machines, Cracker Jacks, etc - they are ubiquitous - and I think they are called "lenticular" art but I'm not sure. I describe them like this: when you move them from side to side, the image changes. For example I have one that is the image of a flame...when you move it, the flame appears to flicker. I know everyone has seen these things but they are hard to describe!

The Israeli artist, Yaacov Agam has spent many decades making this kind of art - in graphic art, fine art, large commissioned public pieces and even in architecture.

This is a quote from one of the many many sites about this artist and his work:

"In 1953, Agam created his first "polyphonic paintings." In these works, two or more different abstract compositions are painted on both protruding sides of a relief of a zigzag section, in such a way that one composition is seen when the panel is viewed from the right side, and another when viewed from the left. The frontal view of the panel presents a series of varied compositions which result from the merging, or the "fusion" as Agam calls it, of several main compositions.

Agam transformed this simple device into rich and complex works of art by applying it to his highly developed geometric compositions. Moreover, the spectator perceives not only the gradual merging of one composition into the other but may also comprehend each successive view as a perfectly independent new composition."

I have included a video so you can see what I am talking about because this is an art form, and a part of pop culture, that is very hard to describe.

1 comment:

Stacy Alexander said...

Oh, man! I love this kind of stuff. Thanks so much for turning me on to this artist. I'd not heard of him before. Great stuff!