Let me cross the street (over the bridge) for this posting and remember one of the exhibitions at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art that Liliana and me visited last Friday morning. I will be back with impressions about other artists who expose at the Litvak Gallery in future postings.

 

Zubin Mehta in Rehearsals - source http://www.midnighteast.com/mag/?p=13808

 

The biography of photographer Yakov Agor is one of those legendary biographies of Jewish personalities of the 20th century that can make you dream, or can lead to assertive judgments. He was born in Ukraine in 1911, lived his youth in what was then Poland, took his first pictures when he was 8, and made his studies in Berlin at the School of Art. He spent WWII in the Soviet Union where he worked in the film studios, and after the war he made a name to himself in Poland in the 50s, designing theater sets.

 

Hanoch Levin - source: http://www.tamuseum.com/en/exhibition-images/16280

 

When he arrived in Israel in 1958 his name and fame had preceded him and, he was received as a personality and quickly integrated in the Israeli press and art scene. He worked from 1960 to 1962 for Uri Avnery’s HaOlam Haze magazine, and starting with 1963 for the weekend supplement of Ha’Aretz. He became the best known photographer of the art and cultural scene of Israel for the coming two decades. Yakov Agor passed away in 1996.

 

Golda Meir - source http://www.midnighteast.com/mag/?p=13808

 

For this first major exhibition of Agor in a museum, curated (not alone) by internationally famous artist Dani Karavan offers a consistent collection of photos, mostly portraits. There are not too many (the exhibition is organized in the side room on the right-hand side of the museum entry) but most of them are strong and sensitive. The technique used by Agor avoided in a programmatic manner any artificial light, and this gives depth and density to the image, with some kind of dark vagueness similar to the technique of clair-obscure paintings. Most of the works are portraits of artists or public personalities, although a few surprises are reserved for the visitors in the non-portraits shots. For the older generation this exhibition must be a certain source of nostalgia, for us, the more recent Israelis a meeting with figures who are part of the legend of a young country we never knew. Even if part of them are still alive they are now at the golden age, in the pictures in the exhibition we met them young and enthusiastic as Israel was once and most important of all alive and present due to Agor’s art.

More information about the exhibition is available at http://www.tamuseum.com/en/about-the-exhibition/16280. It will stay open until October 8, 2011.