Yaacov Agam

Yaacov AgamYaacov Agam, 86, is an Israeli sculptor and world-renowned experimental artist widely considered a pioneer in optical and kinetic art, examples of which often present a different image depending on the viewer’s perspective. Born Yaakov Gipstein in Palestine in 1928, Agam trained at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem before moving to Zürich, Switzerland, in 1949, to continue his studies. He moved to Paris in 1951, where he still lives and continues to practice his art. During Agam’s 60-plus-year career he has produced an impressive body of work that spans many mediums, including tile, stained glass, stainless steel, yarn, bubbles, fire and water fountains, and jewelry; he’s even painted entire buildings. Examples of his kinetic art similar to the “Complex Vision” sculpture at UAB Callahan Eye Hospital are common sights in America’s airports. Agam is the highest-selling Israeli artist. One of his oil-on-wood pieces sold for $326,500 at a November 2009 Sotheby’s New York auction, and a similar piece sold a year later for just shy of $700,000.

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