Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Avigdor Arikha 1929 - 2010: A Tribute

If you enjoy viewing beautiful works of art while listening to beautiful music, than this tribute to Avigdor Arikha is for you.

The music is David Rose’s Our Waltz as played by the George Shearing Quintet with a full orchestra conducted by Robert Farnon, who also wrote the arrangement.

Nobody writes for strings better than Robert Farnon.

Avigdor Arikha died on April 29, 2010, aged 82.

According to these excerpts from his obituary in May 15th edition of The Economist:

“A sense of danger and daring infused all Avigdor Arikha’s works from life. …

His portraits … caught people on the fly: tired, sulky, uncertain, sweating. Everything was done in a fever of haste, without revisions or revisiting. He painted himself shouting, gaping stupidly, from the back, half-seen in a mirror, as if he was determined to take himself by surprise. …

He … discovered his own keys to drawing from life: simplicity, modesty, limitation.  The last was the most important.  Only four or five colors (…), only the brush, an empty canvas, without preliminary sketches and, at most, a day to work in.

He had to hold what he saw and felt, here and now, within a grid of potential brushstrokes or possible lines, without employing memory or imagination, for both were cheating.

His task was, in fact, impossible: to catch what Taoists called the ch’i, or life-force, of his subject. Making each picture was like throwing a stone without knowing where it would land, how close to the unknowable and unreachable. …”