Saturday, September 18th | 13 Tishri 5782

The Top 100 People Positively Influencing Jewish Life, 2017


Yaacov Agam


For decades, Yaacov Agam has been the lone Israeli at the top of the art world. World renowned for his innovative and influential sculpture, he is considered one of the primary founders of “optic” or “kinetic” art, in which optical illusions, variant colors, and malleable structures are employed so that the images and objects change as the viewer moves “through” the piece, seeing it from different angles.

Agam describes his work by saying, “My intention was to create a work of art which would transcend the visible, which cannot be perceived except in stages, with the understanding that it is a partial revelation and not the perpetuation of the existing. My aim is to show what can be seen within the limits of possibility which exists in the midst of coming into being.”

Born in Rishon LeZion, Agam was the son of a pious rabbi who gave him a background in Jewish knowledge, with special attraction to the Kabbalah, which Agam claims has influenced his work. Among his other interests, Agam designs Jewish ritual objects like mezuzahs.

One of his most famous works is the “Fire and Water” fountain in Israel’s Dizengoff Square. Recently removed as the square is renovated, it will be restored to its original place upon completion of the project. (Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.)


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