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Robbert Ruigrok

(b Aktyubinsk, Kazakhstan, Feb 7, 1945).

Israeli painter, Playwright and theatre director of Kazakh birth. He moved to Israel with his parents when he was four. Having displayed an early artistic talent, Zohar had his first drawing lessons when he was 14. After three years in the army (from 1963), he entered the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem. His teachers included Ernst Fuchs, the Viennese fantastic realist painter, who was highly influential on Zohar. Also important in his development were travels in Britain and the Netherlands, where he saw Dutch Old Master collections and in particular the work of Johannes Vermeer. Zohar’s first one-man show (1970) was at the Ahuva Doran Gallery in Tel Aviv. After exhibiting in further solo and group shows, in 1979 he lectured at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Zohar’s paintings of this period reflected strongly the influence of Vermeer in style and subject-matter. By the 1980s his work became more expressionistic and larger in scale. A retrospective in ...