Victorian Association of Jewish Ex & Servicemen & Women Australia Incorporated

Founding Member General Sir John Monash GCMG KCB VD

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Surname
Bergner
First names
Vladimir Josif (Yosl)
Rank
Private
Service No.
V377459
Date of Death
18/1/2017
Hebrew Date
20 Tevet 5777
Hebrew Date
כ׳ בְּטֵבֵת תשע״ז
Age at Death
96
How Died
Where Died
Tel Aviv, Israel
Cemetery
Kibbutz Einat, Israel
Service Details
6 Employment Company, Australian Army Labour Service
Served
Occupation
Artist
Age at Enlistment
21
Place of Enlistment
Caulfield, Victoria
Locality on Enlistment
Melbourne, Victoria
Religion
Jewish
Gender
Male
Date of Enlistment
8/4/1942
Date of Discharge
11/2/1946
Country of Enlistment
Australia
Notes
Born 13/10/1920 Vienna, Austria. Considered one of Israel’s most celebrated expressionist painters, his artworks reflected the life of the poor and working class. The multi-talented artist also established a reputation as an illustrator and costume designer. As an artist, Bergner did not limit himself to the confines of art, but sought to establish relationships with various groups of people who were suffering from hunger, wars, discrimination and persecution. His concerns for these people are reflected in his portraits, which features figures with gaunt pale faces and large black eyes, rendering them helpless and forlorn. He grew up in Warsaw, Poland. Due to the rise in anti-Semitism in Europe, Bergner’s family emigrated to Australia in 1937, where he studied at Melbourne’s National Gallery of Victoria Art School. His studies were disrupted during the onset of World War II, when he enlisted in the Australian Army for four and a half years. After returning from war, Bergner befriended many local artists and became an influential figure in Australian art history. His critical eye encouraged his peers to develop their painting styles and push the boundaries of tradition. His personal experience and his knowledge of the Holocaust atrocities occurring back in Israel brought light to the treatment of indigenous Australians; he is considered one of the first non-indigenous painters to depict the plight of Aboriginal people. Bergner also explored the urban environment and the impact it had on working families. He is credited to have influenced some of Australia’s prominent modernists, such as Albert Tucker, Arthur Boyd, Sydney Nolan and John Perceval. Bergner left Australia in 1948 and spent two years traveling around Europe and North America. He settled in Safed, a city in northern Israel, for seven years, before moving to Tel Aviv in 1957, where he resided until his death. The artist set up his studio near his Tel Aviv home so that he would remain disciplined in his practice - he painted almost every day. During his life in Israel, Bergner was awarded the Herman Struck Prize in 1954, followed by the Dizengoff Prize for painting just one year later. He was also named an honored citizen of Tel Aviv in 2006. He exhibited both locally and abroad, and in 1985, decades after his departure from Australia, he went back to hold his first retrospective exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne. In 2000, Bergner was also the subject of a major retrospective at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. Source: ArtAsiaPacific.com

 
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