Caleb De Jong reviews the exhibition Avigdor Arikha: Works From the Estate at Marlborough Gallery New York, on view through April 21, 2012.
De Jong writes: "Usually intimately small, a few inches up and down, or medium sized, a few feet either way, Arikha's pictures are curtailed and often blank. Corners of desks, the spines of books or an expanse of wall will often take up unusually amounts of space in a composition. Arikha’s portraits are ungainly and awkward, but also touching in their attempts to make a genuine likeness in a limited amount of time. His drawings, made with sumi ink brushed directly onto the paper, graphite, silver-point and pastel, are some of the most exquisite renditions of objects made in the last fifty years. A pot of flowers, the tops of a tree or the side of a pot are all that is needed for a moment of observation and introspection."