Igael Tumarkin

Igael Tumarkin (Hebrew: יגאל תומרקין; born 1933) is an Israeli painter and sculptor.[1]

Igael Tumarkin
Igael Tumarkin (1999)
Peter Martin Gregor Heinrich Hellberg

Dresden, Germany
EducationStudied with Rudi Lehmann, Ein Hod
Known forSculpture


Peter Martin Gregor Heinrich Hellberg (later Igael Tumarkin) was born in Dresden, Germany. His father, Martin Hellberg, was a German theater actor and director, and a son of a pastor. His Jewish mother, Berta Gurevitch, and his stepfather, Herzl Tumarkin, immigrated to then British Mandate of Palestine (now Israel) when he was two.[2]

Tumarkin served in the Israeli Navy. After completing his military service, he studied sculpture in Ein Hod, a village of artists near Mount Carmel. His youngest son is the actor Yon Tumarkin.[3][4]

Art career

Among Tumarkin's best known works are the Holocaust and Revival memorial in Rabin Square, Tel Aviv and his sculptures commemorate fallen soldiers in the Negev.[5]

Tumarkin is also an art theoretician and stage designer. In the 1950s, Tumarkin worked in East Berlin, Amsterdam, and Paris. Upon his return to Israel in 1961, he became a driving force behind the break from the charismatic monopoly of lyric abstraction there. Tumarkin created assemblages of found objects, generally with violent expressionist undertones and decidedly unlyrical color. His determination to "be different" influenced his younger Israeli colleagues. The furor generated around Tumarkin's works, such as the old pair of trousers stuck to one of his pictures, intensified the mystique surrounding him.[6][7][8] One of his controversial works is a pig wearing phylacteries (or tfilin, small boxes containing scriptures).[9]


Awards and recognition

  • 1963 First Prize for Battle of Hulaykat Monument
  • 1968 The Sandberg Prize for Israeli Art, Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel
  • 1968 First Prize for Memorial to Sailors, Haifa
  • 1971 First Prize for Memorial for "Holocaust and Revival", Tel Aviv
  • 1978 First Prize in the Biennale for Drawing, Reike
  • 1984 Award from the President of the Italian Republic
  • 1985 Dizengoff Prize for Sculpture
  • 1990 Guest of the Japan Foundation
  • 1992 August Rodin Prize, The International Sculpture Competition of the Open Museum, Hakone, Japan, for his sculpture of the sign at the entrance to Auschwitz concentration camp Arbeit Macht Frei.
  • 1997 Award of Excellence, the President of the Federal Republic of Germany
  • 1998 Sussman Prize, Vienna
  • 2004 Israel Prize for sculpture[11][12]

Outdoor and public art

Tumarkin has created over 80 outdoor sculptures in Israel and around the world.

  • 1962-68 "Panorama", concrete and steel, Arad, Israel
  • 1962-69 "Age of Science", concrete and steel, Dimona
  • 1963 "Vibrations A & B", concrete, Kiryat Yam and "Window to the Sea", concrete, Atlit
  • 1964-65 "Monument for the Holocaust", concrete and steel, Nazareth
  • 1966 "Peace Memorial", Hebron Road, Jerusalem
  • 1968 "Big Chief", tank assemblage painted, Kiryat Shmona
  • 1969-71 "War and Peace", steel and stone, Ramat-Gan
  • 1970 "Keystone Gate", painted steel, Jerusalem
  • 1970 "Homage to Dürer, painted steel, Haifa
  • 1971 "Homage to Jerusalem", Givat Shapira
  • 1971 Sculpture Garden, 61 Weizmann Street, Holon
  • 1971-75 "Monument to the Holocaust and Revival", corten and glass, Tel Aviv
  • 1972 "Happenings and Homage to Kepler", concrete and painted steel, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv; "Sundial Garden", concrete, Ashkelon; and "Monument to the Fallen", concrete painted white and steel, Jordan Valley
  • 1972-73 "Airport Monument", painted steel, Lod
  • 1973 "Challenge to the Sun", Ramot Alon, Jerusalem
  • 1986 "Chichen Itzma", Kiryat Menahem, Jerusalem
  • 1986 Pisgat Zeev, Jerusalem
  • 1989 Homage to Robert Capa, Pozoblanco, Spain
  • 1989 La Liberte, Bordeaux, France
  • 1991 Bertolt Brecht, Berlin Museum Garden
  • 1992 "Jerusalem – Three Faiths", Mount Scopus, Jerusalem
  • 1993 Semaphore, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot
  • 1993 My Seven Pillars of Wisdom, Hakone Open Air Museum, Japan
  • 1994–96 The Sculpture Garden of Belvoir (Kochav HaYarden)
  • 1997 Memorial for Yitzhak Rabin, Ramat Gan Museum
  • 2000 Abu Nabut Garden, Jaffa

See also


  1. Susan Tumarkin Goodman. Artists of Israel, 1920-1980: the Jewish Museum/New York, February 19-May 17, 1981. Jewish Museum (New York, N.Y.). Retrieved August 27, 2011.
  2. Tumarkin, Igael
  3. "Yon Tumarkin Biography". Imdb.com. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
  4. "Split. Personajes". boomerang.com.br. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
  5. Shlomo Sharan. Israel and the Post-Zionists: a nation at risk. Retrieved August 27, 2011.
  6. Rebecca L. Torstrick. Culture and customs of Israel. Retrieved August 27, 2011.
  7. Yair Mazor. Who wrought the Bible?: unveiling the Bible's aesthetic secrets. Retrieved August 27, 2011.
  8. Ronald Fuhrer (1998). Israeli painting: from post-Impressionism to post-Zionism. Retrieved August 27, 2011.
  9. Harel, Israel (2004-02-12). "The Israel Prize for Divisiveness". Haaretz. Retrieved 2016-02-29.
  10. Arturo Schwarz (2001). Love at first sight: the Vera, Silvia, and Arturo Schwarz collection of Israeli art. Israel Museum. Retrieved August 27, 2011.
  11. "Israel Prize Official Site (in Hebrew) – Recipient's C.V."
  12. "Israel Prize Official Site (in Hebrew) – Judges' Rationale for Grant to Recipient".
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