JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israeli painter Avigdor Arikha, a major figure in modern art, died at his home in Paris.
Arikha, whose work was influenced by his experiences as a Holocaust survivor, died April 29 from complications from cancer. He was 81. Arikha also had a home in Jerusalem.
Arikha began as an abstract artist, but renounced it in the mid-1960s in favor of representationalism, according to The New York Times. He is known for painting everyday things, including the view from his studio window, chairs and tables, clothing and other household things, as well as portraits.
Arikha also wrote and lectured extensively on art history and curated several exhibitions at major museums, the Times reported.
Arikha was deported by the Nazis from Czernowitz, then in Romania, at the age of 12 in 1941 to a Ukrainian labor camp. He drew what he saw at the camp on pieces of butcher paper, according to the Times.
In 1944 he and his sister were taken to Palestine by the International Red Cross, where they were joined by their mother. He served in Israel’s 1948 War of Independence and later studied art in Paris at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts.