Arikha stopped painting in 1965, feeling that it was impossible to continue in the same vein, and he restricted himself first to drawing and then to etching in black and white. He resumed painting in 1973, this time working exclusively from life, painting quickly in oil on canvas on an intimate scale well suited to his generally domestic subjects.
Wary of his own virtuosity and always receptive to the shocks of emotion and chance, Arikha practised a kind of dynamic realism. Arikha's paintings from life after 1973, calm and endowed with a feeling of plenitude arising from his mastery of colour and amplitude of gesture, also have a muted drama because of the vibration of the marks, tonal contrasts and spatial ambiguities, which together assure the modernity of his work within a long tradition.
Avigdor Arikha: Dessins, 1965–1970 (exh. cat., preface S. Beckett, essay B. Rose; Paris, Cent. N. A. Contemp., 1970)
S. Beckett and others: Arikha (Paris and London, 1985)
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