We have lost Avigdor Arikha. The artist’s obituary in this morning’s New York Times tells us that in a Nazi camp at the age of twelve he was drawing on scraps of butcher paper.
Much of the magic of Arikha is textural. It seems gauzy and billowy, as if filtered through some kind of an improbable device. His paintings are first takes, no sketches, no studies. They are small and inevitably subtle.
His work is rich in nuance. But aside from some portraits of women such as Catherine Deneuve, Arikha paintings capture an intense observation of the commonplace.
Having lived in darkness, Avigdor Arika would paint only in daylight. He died in Paris.