Home Artists Ron Agam

Ron Agam

1958
France

1 Works exhibited on Kooness

Current location

France

Represented by

Works by Ron Agam

Homage to King David

2019

17.78 x 17.78cm

2221,80 €

Born in 1958, and raised between Paris and Rehovot, Israel, painter Ron Agam only took up the paintbrush later in life, following a long and successful career as an fine art photographer.  Yet, the robustness and sheer prolificacy of his output since belies the charge that this newfound passion is anything but a calling: Since first embracing his new medium a few short years ago, Mr. Agam’s creative energy has burst forth, embracing a dizzying array of techniques and a brilliant spectrum of forms, in an ever-expanding constellation of individual works. From lenticular, optical experiments to distilled, saturated color-fields, Mr. Agam’s work has, canvas by canvas, explored the process of seeing, all the while keeping an eye on the prize of metaphysical meaning.

“I began this work as a leap, without knowing where it will go,” Mr. Agam explains.  “And I don’t think about it now; I just paint.”  This wellspring of intuition seems to have tapped a deep reservoir of inspiration. As his body of work has compounded, growing to hundreds of individual pieces,  it has cast into relief a central theme of Mr. Agam’s life itself: That the questions one conceives as a child, considering the very abundance of stars in the sky, may yet animate an enduring curiosity in the mature soul.  Indeed, Mr. Agam’s meditative, transcendent canvasses bear witness to this pure fact: That  to contemplate the world deeply is to refresh it’s mystery.  Looking at his canvasses liberates one from what is known, restoring the essential spirit of inquiry that characterizes true freedom.

Arriving in New York in the 1980s, Ron wove himself into the fabric of the art world, founding an art press, and opening the Artlife gallery in SoHo. In 1994, his debut monograph, At the Wall, garnered wide acclaim for its penetrating photographs of the ultra-orthodox inhabitants of the Mea Shearim neighborhood and the daily rituals of the Western Wall. Displaying a profound sensitivity to the spiritual overtones of the human condition, this work was quickly embraced by collectors and galleries around the world, and launched an active career as a photographer.

In 2001, galvanized by the events of September 11th, Ron rushed to the scene of the disaster and shot over 1200 photographs, capturing the simple heroics of people caught up in the sweep of history. Now housed in the permanent collection of the 9/11 Memorial Museum, this body of work stands as an intimate, indelible, deeply human portrait of history being made, person by person.

In 2009, Ron presented In Full Bloom, an influential and acclaimed photographic study of flowers. Represented on a vast scale, Ron’s portraits of these most intimate of Nature’s creations contextualize both ecological and metaphysical concerns, and have earned broad accolades. At first glance a departure in subject from his previous monographs, In Full Bloom reveals itself, on closer inspection, to share a fascination with the ineffable and a sensitivity to the role of mystery in the human condition that reflects back on Ron’s earlier work, illuminating it in turn.

In October, 2009, as a capstone to this photographic career, and in recognition of his humanitarian and bridge-building work throughout the Jewish communities of France, America, and Israel, Ron was given France’s highest civic recognition: Cited for his, “key role in establishing a relationship of trust and cooperation between France and the Jewish community in America,” Ron was made Chevalier of the Legion of Honor.

And yet, by his own admission, this extraordinary career ran aground in 2010, when, faced with the prospect of completing a highly sought-after commission (a photo-book for the luxury goods giant LVMH), Ron abruptly abandoned the project. This instinctive, some-would-say reckless act, effectively disoriented his life, stranding him in the desert of his own intuition. Working through a depression, he revisited the deepest fundamentals of his creative spirit: He picked up a crayon, and began to draw.

From the moment of this re-birth to the present day, Ron’s artistry has, like the Euclidean universe, expanded ever outwards, in the process yielding hundreds of new works spanning a spectrum of media, produced in an almost seraphic burst of creative energy that sees him engaged in his studio up to 18 hours a day. The work itself—a kaleidoscope of optical experiments, kinetic constructions, geometric meditations, and contemplations of color—has poured forth in a torrent, gathering accolades and charming collectors along the way.

Looking towards a major exhibition in 2015 Ron now works in confidence of an incipient artistic career that is, above all, a gift and a surprise. “I never once thought of myself as an artist—as even someone capable of art,” Ron maintains. “So I began this work as a leap, without knowing where it will go.”