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Avraham Eilat in his studio in 2013
Avraham Eilat (Hebrew: ?, born 1939 in Tel Aviv) is an Israeliartist, educator and curator. He graduated from the Hebrew Gimnasium Herzliya in Tel Aviv, and was enrolled in Hashomer Hatzair youth movement for nine years starting at age 9. After military service in 1960 he joined in Kibbutz Shamir, situated on the western slopes of the Golan Heights in the Upper Galilee, where he was a member until 1978. During his first years in the kibbutz, Eilat was a shepherd side-by-side with his kibbutz adopting father the painter Moshe Cagan. Close contact with nature and its phenomenon and the features of local landscape deeply influenced his way of thinking and established the themes appearing along all his career in his art. The contrast between man-made geometrical shapes of fish ponds and the free flowing of the flora and typical hilly landscape of the Hula Valley area, crystallized his visual language and determined its formal and thematic foundations. Avraham Eilat employs skillfully various means of expression: drawing and painting, etching, photography, sculpture, installation, and often a combination of more than one. Using those means enriches his basic statement and makes it complex and multi-layered. Avraham Eilat lives in Ein Hod Artists Village, Israel, with his spouse Margol Guttman, works in his studio in Pyramida Center of Contemporary Art, Wadi Salib, Haifa, and in his studio in Ein Hod.
1986 Co-founder of The Israeli Biennale of Photography, Ein Harod
Avraham Eilat's art studies started when he was 14 years old. As a young pupil at the Herzliya Gimnasium in Tel Aviv he studied painting under Arie Allweil, who believed in his talent and invited him to stay with him and work under his guidance in the town of Tzfat (summer of 1954). During the years 1962-1965, parallel to working as shepherd in Kibbutz Shamir he was a part-time student in the Tel Aviv "High School of Painting", guided by the artist Arie Margoshilski, the founder and director the school. His diploma subject was "Quarry", a subject matter that kept coming up in his work in various versions through the years. In 1966, Avraham Eilat studied in the famous "Atelier 17", Paris, an international etching studio founded and directed by the English etcher Stanley William Hayter. In the workshop he met artists from different countries and became a close friend with the Japanese artist Kenji Yoshida, who in 1968 was his guest for two months in Kibbutz Shamir. They kept in touch until Yoshida's death in 2009.