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Sculptor, painter Igael Tumarkin dies aged 87

Tumarkin was an Israel Prize recipient known for the large monument at Rabin Square, as well as artworks displayed around the country and the world

Painter and sculptor Igael Tumarkin in 2004 (Flash 90)
Painter and sculptor Igael Tumarkin in 2004 (Flash 90)

Renowned Israeli sculptor and painter Igael Tumarkin was laid to rest on Friday after passing away the previous day at age 87. He was buried at Kibbutz Na’an, near Rehovot.

The Israel Prize winner’s work spanned many decades and included the famous Holocaust memorial sculpture in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square, the Arad viewpoint, the Sundial Garden in Ashkelon and the Peace Memorial in Jerusalem.

Tumarkin was born in Dresden, Germany in 1933 but moved with his mother to Israel two years later. He grew up in Tel Aviv and Bat Yam and began dabbling in art and sculpting as a teen. He began studying seriously after his military service, in the 1950s.

His works have been displayed throughout Israel and the world, and he won many prizes over the years. He also wrote books about art as well as children’s books.

Tumarkin was known for his anti-war positions and controversial statements about the state of the country, about his disdain for religion and more.

He is survived by three children, among them actor Yon Tumarkin.

Igael Tumarkin’s Holocaust remembrance monument in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square April 18, 2020 (Miriam Alster/FLASH90)

Son Dor said Tumarkin was “a wonderful father” who taught his children “to seek truth uncompromisingly.” He said that as an artist his father “will be missed by many, and your influence on culture and art will live on forever.”

His other son, Yon, said he was “filled with pride” in his father and his work, and that the latter would live on beyond both of them.

A sculpture by artist Igael Tumarkin in Northern Israel, 2018 (Anat Hermony/FLASH90)
A sculpture by artist Igael Tumarkin in Northern Israel, 2018 (Anat Hermony/FLASH90)
Two people walking near Igael Tumarkin’s monument near Arad, December 4, 2011 (Doron Horowitz/FLASH90)

 

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