Yohanan Simon

  • Born 1905 in Berlin, Germany
  • Died 1976 in Tel Aviv, Israel

Yohanan Simon was an artist who lived and worked internationally. He began his studies in medicine at Universität Berlin (Berlin University) in 1924 before switching to the fine arts department, first studying sculpture and then painting. He continued his studies at the Städelschule in Frankfurt in 1926, under Expressionist artist Max Beckmann (1884–1950). In 1928 Simon moved to Toulon, France, where he studied with the Fauvist artist André Derain and held his first solo exhibition in 1931. From 1931 to 1934 he studied at the École des Beaux-Arts (School of Fine Arts), Paris, and worked as a graphic designer for the journals Vu and Les Annales. He moved to New York City in 1934 to work for Vogue, where he discovered the murals of Diego Rivera (1886–1957). He immigrated to Mandatory Palestine in 1936 and was a kibbutz member until 1953, creating posters and illustrations for the kibbutz movement. He produced a number of public murals throughout Israel, painting daily life on the kibbutz in the style of social realism. Simon participated in the first Zionist-modernist New Horizons Group exhibition in 1948. He exhibited at the Venice Biennale (1948; 1958) and the Bienal de São Paulo (1953).

Artworks by Yohanan Simon in the exhibition