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The basics
Quick Facts
Countries Israel
Gender male
Birth 28 January 1933 (Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv District, Israel)
Death 1977
Star sign AquariusAquarius
The details

Yoav Bar El (1933–1977) was an Israeli artist, writer and art dealer. He was born in Tel Aviv and studied in the United States.


Yoav Bar El was born on 28 January 1933 in Tel Aviv, Israel. Aharon ("Aharonchik") Elkind and Shlomit Cohen Tzedek, who arrived in 1924 from Kovno, are Yoav’s parents. His younger sister, Mirana Barel-Blay was born six years after he was. Their mother infused a love of culture, art and literature into Yoav and his sister, Mirana. When he was a young boy, Yoav Bar El learned to play the accordion. When Yoav completed high school, he studied in the aircraft mechanics program of the Air Force.

In 1950, Bar El went to school in America. While he was in America, Bar El attended lectures about music taught by Arnold Schoenberg. When Yoav Bar El completed his military service, he studied composition as well as conducted at the Music Academy. However, Bar El did not pursue these studies.

In the 1960s, after studying art and philosophy, Yoav Bar El began dealing art. During this time, Bar El also began publishing his writing and art criticism in daily newspapers. Yoav Bar El served as the art critic for “Yedioth Ahronoth” (1959–61), Ha’aretz (1959–69), Kol Israel (1964–69) and IDF Radio (1967-71). In addition, he worked on writing scripts for several TV series as well as movies. Bar El organized exhibitions for The “Lookout” and was a member of “+10.”

Bar El's early work was influenced by European abstract art and is characterized by prominent use of the material. Later in his career, Bar El was influenced by the American pop art, and folded his paintings to reproduced images.

Yoav Bar El died in 1977, at the age of 44.

A collection of the artist's work is held at the Information Center for Israeli Art in the Israel Museum, Jerusalem.

Awards and recognition

  • 1959 Participated in Biennale, Paris
  • 1960 Participated in First Biennale of Young Painters, Haifa
  • Art Critic of Ha’aretz


  • 1954-1956 Avni Institute of Art and Design in Tel Aviv
  • 1964-1968 Tel Aviv University; B.A., Philosophy and psychology
  • 1968-1969 Tel Aviv University; M.A., Clinical psychology


  • 1962–1963 Avni Institute of Art and Design in Tel Aviv
  • 1966 Tel Aviv University
  • 1967–1971 High School for drawing named after Margolsinaski, Tel Aviv
  • 1971–1977 Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa; Three-dimensional design in the Department of Architecture and Town Planning


  • 1965 Seminar for High School Art supervisors, Ministry of Education, Jerusalem, Israel
  • 1966 Semestral seminar on the “Concept of Art“, Tel Aviv University, Israel
  • 1967 Advanced seminar for Art teachers, Ministry of Education, Tel Aviv, Israel
  • 1970 Seminar on “Concept of Art“ for kibbutz artists, Petakh Tikva, Israel

Individual Exhibitions

  • 1958 Gallery Chemerinsky, Tel Aviv, Israel
  • 1960 Gallery Chemerinsky, Tel Aviv, Israel
  • 1969 Gordon gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel
  • 1981 Shinar gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel
  • 1987 “Joav BarEl“, Kalisher 5 gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel
  • 2004 “Joav BarEl“, curated by Irith Hadar, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel
  • 2012 “Pop Works“, Tempo Rubato, Tel Aviv, Israel
  • 2014 Joav BarEl, Frieze New York, Frame section, NY, USA

Center of the World, Tempo Rubato, Tel Aviv

Group Exhibitions

  • 1957 “Ha Yeled“, Zuta Gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel
  • 1958 “The Art of Tomorrow“, Haifa Museum of Art, Israel
  • 1959 “Young Artists“, Artists’ Association, Tel Aviv, Israel
  • First Paris Biennial – representing Israel, Paris, France
  • 1960 “First Biennial of Young Artists“, Haifa Museum of Art, Israel
  • 1961 “Spring exhibition“, Rina Gallery, Jerusalem, Israel
  • “Fall exhibition“, Rina Gallery, Jerusalem, Israel
  • Yehudit gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel
  • 1964 “Five Artists“, Rina Gallery, Jerusalem, Israel
  • “Contemporary Art“, Beit Katz, Acre, Israel
  • 1965 “Fall exhibition“, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel
  • “Five Young Artists“, Hanegev Museum, Beer Sheva, Israel
  • “Fall exhibition“, Mala-Kahana gallery, Tel Aviv Israel
  • 1966 “Fall exhibition“, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel
  • “The Flower“ with the 10+ collective, Massada gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel
  • 1967 “In Red“ with the 10+ collective, Katz gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel
  • “Nude“ with the 10+ collective, Gordon gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel
  • 1968 “Summer exhibition“, Gordon gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel
  • “Fall exhibition“, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel
  • 1969 “Stop, Green“, Artists’ Pavilion, Jerusalem, Israel
  • 1970 “Five Rooms“, Artists’ Pavilion, Jerusalem, Israel
  • A selection of Israeli Art, Gan Haaem, Haifa, Israel
  • 1971 Opening exhibition of the permanent collection, Tel Aviv Museum of Art
  • 1972 “Conceptual Art“, Artists’Association, Alharizi Pavilion, Tel Aviv, Israel

Selected Monographs / Publications on Yoav Bar El

  • 1997 “Drawings After Kafka“, with texts by Ami Steinitz, Yoram Bronowski, Gavriel Moked, Published

by Mirana BarEl-Blay and Ami Blay, ISBN 965-222-759-5

  • 2004 “Joav BarEl“, exhibition catalogue, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel, with texts by Mordechai

Omer, Gabriel Moked, Irith Hadar, Joav BarEl, Adam Tennenbaum, and a conversation between Rafi Lavie and Yona Fischer. ISBN 965-7161-16-9

  • 2004 ”Between Sobriety and Innocence – on Plastic Arts in the 1960’s in Tel Aviv”, a collection of

critical essays by Joav BaEl, ISBN 965-7161-18-5

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