About: Igael Tumarkin
Born in 1933 in Germany, he immigrated to Israel with his mother at the age of two and grew up in Tel Aviv. When the time came to get drafted to the army, Tumarkin enlisted in the navy and served as a sabotage instructor. At the same time he began creating animal figurines which started selling in stores. After his release he began deepening his interest in the art world and started studying sculpture with the artist Rudi Lehman at the Ein Hod Artists Village. At the end of the 1950s, after a period of several years in which he lived in various countries throughout Europe, Tumarkin was exposed to the Dada movement, pop art and avant-garde art. These artistic movements influenced Tumarkin's works in a substantive way. In 1960 he returned to Israel and began sculpting in various scraps and in iron. During the Yom Kippur War, Tumarkin accompanied the IDF forces as a photographer and military correspondent.
Tumarkin's works from the time after his return to Israel, constituted a significant change in the Israeli art world, which dealt mainly with abstract and internal expressions of emotion. His works, which were based on the assemblage technique, brought expressions of cultural and political protest to Israeli art, alongside the influences of pop art. Over the years, his paintings and sculptures have featured poetic images contrasted with a blunt, expressive and anti-war language. These attest to his deep involvement in Israel’s current affairs and culture. In addition to his main work in the sculpture field, Tumarkin has created many works in other media through the years, such as print, painting and photography. Along with small pieces he created and placed various sculptures and monuments throughout the country. His significance to Israeli art is immeasurably fundamental and therefore he won the Israel Prize for sculpture in 2004.