Myriam Bat-Yosef Biography

Myriam Bat-Yosef




Painter and printmaker Myriam Bat-Yosef was born Marion Hellerman in Berlin, Germany in 1931 to Lithuanian Jewish parents. When Bat-Yosef was two years old, her family fled the rising tide of Nazism, emigrating to Jaffa in 1933. In 1936 her father died of an untreated infection when he was called into action as a Zionist soldier, still recovering from appendicitis before the invention of penicillin. Myriam and her mother relocated to Paris for a few years before the invasion of France forced them to relocate yet again, this time in Tel Aviv.

Bat-Yosef began classes at Tel Aviv Academy of Fine Arts in 1940, and in 1946 she had received her diploma and taken the artist surname Bat-Yosef, meaning "Joseph's daughter" in Hebrew, as an homage to her father. After completing compulsory military Israeli service and attaining her teaching diploma, in 1952, she left to study at the Beaux-Arts in Paris. Her first group exhibition took place in 1955 at the Israeli Club at Avenue de Wagram, with artists Yehuda Neiman, Avigdor Arikha, Raffi Kaiser, Dani Karavan, and others.

In 1956 Bat-Yosef moved to Italy to attend the School of Fine Arts, Florence. She met the painter Erro, with whom she lived and shared a studio. They held several exhibitions in Milan, Rome, and Florence, and with the onset of the Suez Canal war, the two married so as to keep Bat-Yosef from being called to duty. Thereafter, they lived in Iceland, Israel, and Paris until 1964, exhibiting throughout Europe. When they divorced in 1964, Myrian Bat-Yosef exhibited more frequently and expanded her exhibitions to the United States and Japan. She has exhibited as recently as 2009.