Yigal Tumarkin was born in Dresden, Germany, in 1933. He‘s a multi talented Israeli painter ,sculptor, sketcher, graphics and stage designer. Martin Hellberg, his father, was a German theater director and actor. He immigrated to Israel at the age of two with his mother. He studied sculpture in Ein Hod, a village of artists in the north of Israel, after his military service. Yigal Tumarkin traveled to Japan and America in 1962 to study Japanese painting techniques.

In 1961 he returned to Israel and created his Dessert sculptures in Arad and Dimona. At this time Yigal began sculpting with different parts of weapons (like his famous " He Walked the Fields"- 1967).

Tumarkin built several memorial monuments such as the Peace Monument in Lod, constructed from tank parts,

and the famous Holocaust Memorial in Rabin Square. In 2004 he was awarded the Israel Prize.



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


Outdoor and Public Art

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

  • 1962-68 "Panorama", concrete and steel, Arad
  • 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
  • 1997 Memorial for Yitzhak Rabin, Ramat Gan Museum
  • 2000 Abu Nabut Garden, Jaffa