At Frieze Masters 2018, Blain|Southern will exhibit a selection of paintings and works on paper by one of the twentieth century’s sharpest observers of particular moments, places and people: Avigdor Arikha.

Avigdor Arikha was born in Bukovina, Romania, and drew from an early age. From the mid-1950s, the artist painted mostly abstractions, influenced by his Bauhaus-trained teachers in Israel. In 1965, at the urging of his friend Giacometti, he decided that modernism had run its course and that he needed to draw and paint from life. For about eight years he drew in monochrome – primarily ink and pencil – and only started to paint from life in the early 1970s. And yet, he occasionally painted abstractions, such as the work Cosmogonies (1968), which will be exhibited on the stand.

From 1968, however, he sought only to look at the world with an unflinching eye and depict what he witnessed day to day. While the twentieth-century caused countless lives to be torn asunder by competing ideologies and the pursuit of absolutes, Arikha sought instead the lasting truth of close observation: carefully delineated objects and landscapes, human faces and figures. He sought the truth of particular visual experience against a background of constant flux and political violence. Cartier-Bresson, a close friend of Arikha’s, remarked that ‘seeing is everything’, and that phrase could be used to describe the attitude of Arikha as well.

Drawing was of fundamental importance to the artist, the presentation will emphasise this particular medium. In addition to a selection of works on paper and paintings by Arikha, there will be a selection of archive material that explores the artist’s milieu in Paris.

Stand number
Regent’s Park, London
Full address

NW1 4HA London

Website link


Avigdor Arikha

Avigdor Arikha