Agmon van der Veen (1932-2023)


Elkaar vast vasthouden

Om niet te verdwijnen

Agmon was born in 1932 in Amsterdam. He immigrated to Israel from the Netherlands, as a refugee and a holocaust orphan. As an adolescent he tried to be assimilated into the Israeli youth. Later on he began to study painting in Bezalel Academy of Arts and Designs in Jerusalem. He was the favorite student of the famous painter Mordechai Ardon. He won the Sharet Fund Prize, and then went back to the Netherlands for completing advanced study. He came back to Israel and settled in Beer-Sheba (a city in Israel).

In the Negev’s capital, Beer-Sheba, he was a pioneer power in painting art as well as in crystallizing the city’s cultural ambience. He managed to unite around his charismatic personality a group of artists, and was chosen as chairman of the Negev’s Painters Association. His apartment was always a place of conference, and a center of exciting discussions about art, politics and life in general. Painters, poets, architects, scientists and a variety of guests visited his apartment almost every night, and he enabled an intensive dialogue to be taken place there. In his communicative presence Agmon was a living center for the Beer-Sheba’s bohemia. He trained many students in a wide range of ages in the framework of painting instruction in different places, such as: Beit Ha’am, the Urban Secondary School and in private lessons at his studio. Famous artists grew up out of the rich apprenticeship he imparted them.

In his fifties Agmon decided to leave Beer-Sheba and remove his artistic career to Tel-Aviv. He won the Golden Camel Prize, which was given to him by Beer-Sheba’s mayor for his unique contribution to city’s culture. He lived in Tel-Aviv for a few years, and then decided to return to his motherland, the Netherlands – craving to come back to his past origins and to the memory of his family, which was exterminated in the holocaust, and to the memory of his lost childhood. Agmon raised a family in Israel and brought children and grandsons. From 1988 until his death in 2023 he lived and worked in Almere, The Netherlands.

Igal Vardi, psychologist, graphologist, painter and writer