Raffi Lavie was born in 1937, Israel.
Lavie is a key figure in the evolution of Modernism in Israel as artist, curator, critic, and for over forty years the charismatic teacher of generations of artists.
He has produced a vast body of paintings, drawings, and films.
Influenced by Paul Klee, Jean Dubuffet, and especially the Israeli artists Arie Aroch and Aviva Uri, he has created an individual artistic language, translating modernist and avant-garde developments into images and syntax appropriate to local Israeli reality.
Teaching: Art Teachers’ Training College, Ramat Hasharon.
Prize: 1978 Dizengoff Prize.
Raffi Lavie is especially associated with a 1970s–80s style in Israel art that was coined “the want of matter,” referring to works with an Arte Povera-like aesthetic: an affinity with rough, cheap, low-quality materials such as plywood, readymade objects such as old furniture, and wood used as supports.
On May 7, 2007, he died of pancreatic cancer at his home in Tel Aviv, aged 70.
He donated his body to the University of Tel Aviv for research.