A painter and a sculptor, was born in Dresden, Germany in 1933 and came to Israel with his mother at the age of 2.
After completing his military service in 1954, he spent a year at the artists’ village, Ein Hod, and worked with sculptor Rudi Lehman. In 1955 he went to Berlin, where he worked for a year at Bertolt Brecht’s “Berliner Ensemble”, a year that would have great impact on his future work. He then returned to Israel for one year and created his first iron sculpture. In the course of the next 20 years Tumarkin would spend long periods in Europe (where in Paris, he had contact with some of the leading artist of Nouveau Réalisme), Japan and the United States, and experiment with various materials and styles.
Tumarkin’s work is often bold and declarative, engagé and with a powerful streak of argument pro-and-con. His concept of culture cannot exist merely in terms of aesthetics and formalism; rather, it calls for some formal complexity, occasionally violent or aggressive. His work always speaks out for or against facts appertaining to the reality wherein he exists as an Israeli. He has been a kind of uncompromising guerilla fighter, eternally in opposition. He has always exhibited an affinity with and relationship towards other cultures, ancient and modern, their philosophies and media, music and documents.
Challenging the convictions enshrined by the ‘New Horizons’ movement, Tumarkin offered a form of art that would render the ‘abstract vs. figurative’ debate irrelevant. By demonstrating that it is certainly possible to employ forms and materials (polyester, rusty iron, wires etc.) in the construction of works designed to convey social or political messages, he heralded with his works a new generation that was to take its place at the very center of Israel’s cultural arena.
Exhibitions in Golconda Fine Art:
Drawings and Models, 1998
Homage to Itzhak Rabin, 1999