Arie Aroch Kharkiv, Ukraine, 1908 – Jerusalem, 15 Oct 1974
Israeli painter of Ukrainian birth. His family settled in Palestine in 1924 and he then studied at the Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts in Jerusalem for a year and a half. In 1934 he travelled to Paris where he studied at the Académie Colarossi under Léger, returning to Tel Aviv in 1935. In 1937 he produced stage designs for the Habimah and Ohel theatres in Tel Aviv and the following year had his first one-man show at the Santee Landwer Gallery in Amsterdam. He worked with Zvi Mairovich at Zichron Yaacov in 1942 and also exhibited landscape works with the Group of Seven. Typical of his paintings of this period is Street in a Rural Settlement (1942; Tel Aviv Mus. A.).
Though a member of the “New Horizons”, Aroch suggested an alternative to lyric abstraction, proposing a greater concentration on form; personal statement instead of objectivity; unconventional techniques instead of methodical professionalism, and a more eclectic approach instead of French abstractionism. Aroch’s sources include children’s drawings, found objects, folk and traditional characters, and persons remembered from childhood. His thought and techniques (erasing, scratching, scribbling) influenced young painters such as Aviva Uri and Raffi Lavie.