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Yosl Bergner

Yosl Bergner (1920–2017) was born in Vienna, grew up in Warsaw, before later emigrating to Australia in 1937. Bergner studied at the National Gallery Art School until the outbreak of War World II. He served for four and a half years in the Australian Army, and later continued his studies at the Art School.

In Melbourne from 1937–48, Bergner befriended many of the local artists who came to epitomize modern Australian art: Sidney Nolan, Albert Tucker, John Perceval and Arthur Boyd. He left Australia in 1948 and after two years of travelling and exhibiting in Paris, Montreal and New York, he settled in Israel. He lived in Safed until moving to Tel Aviv in 1957.

Bergner designed scenery and costumes for the Yiddish and Hebrew theatres, particularly for the plays of Nissim Aloni, and illustrated many books. The acme of Bergner's paintings is his allegorical works; he used kitchen tools such as squashed pots, oil lamps, wrecks and cracked jugs and he anthropomorphizes them. These old instruments symbolize distorted and poor world of wars, secrets and darkness.

Bergner recently passed away in January of 2017.