Yoel Grebel was born in Bobrika, Galicia, a town in which the orthodox Jewish religious framework was strictly kept. He studied among others in a Heder (the equivalent of a small religious Jewish elementary school) and in Beit Midrash (the equivalent of a small religious Jewish high school). In the 30's, the Renaissance reached his town: young people were captivated by new ideas and dreams of greatness. In an act of rebellion, Yoel Grebel chose to study art in Lwow (Lemberg), which was a large bustling city compared to the town of his birth: it was a city full of art studios, museums and theaters. In 1936 he migrated to Erez-Israel (now Israel), and until 1948 he lived in Jerusalem. He was a student at "Bezalel" (a known college for art) and worked as a graphic artist and a lithographer near the wall of the Old City. During that time he took part in the Haganah (a semi-official resistance group who fought for the independence of Israel) and joined the Israel Defense Forces soon after. He served in the mapping section in Tel Aviv, like many other artists. Since 1950 he worked as a senior graphic artist and a lithographer at the Meteorological Service at Beit-Dagan. In Tel Aviv he forged close ties with artists and painters, became a member of the Artists' Association and introduced press lithography to the artist community. He had participated in single and group exhibitions and taught art and lithography at the Artists' Association, the artist village at Ein-Hod and Hannah Yaffe School, Israel. In 1985, during an international biennale commemorating Dante Alighieri, he was awarded the Italian Dante Center medal out of 500 participants .
....In the beginning, Yoel Grebel was in search for the ultimate blue color. Light-blue or, turquoise, is like the sea; and the sea is like the sky; and the sky is like the place of God. Light-blue, is not good for dreaming as the Talmudic sages declared, and while the ultimate blue is different than light-blue, in essence, they derive their power directly from Providence. During his later years, as if giving up dreams of his childhood, he abandoned the blue color in favor of the ever ending hues of rust, the color of the sun stricken Israel - he therefore, became the artist of rust.
Cat orchestra, oil on canvas Village, oil on canvas Thirst, oil on canvas
From a Report on Yoel Grebel's Exhibition, in Gazit, vol. 5, no. 15:
"... Although he comes from a religious home, in his family there was a strong impulse to art....From the world of Galician Hassidism, he has brought with him a reach treasure of vibrant Jewish folklore, which he also knows how to use in his artistic work, especially in his metal embossings....He has a sensitivity to color...he has concurrently developed two art forms: painting - both figurative and abstract - and folkloristic metal embrossings, in which he has revealed his authentic personal world..."
Grebel writes about himself:
" In my humble opinion, the artist has to possess an 'extra' vision. It is not enough for the artist to see reality as it is. With the power of this superior vision the artist needs to control or relate to technical means of design. This, he is to learn throughout his life. In order to express his spiritual world by technical means, the creator needs a form of talent, an ability. Only then, when the Devine Presence rests upon his shoulders, can the artist tell what is taking shape in his soul. For the creations that are emerging from the hands of the artist are but a story in installments. And the process of creations itself is a story without an end."
Following Leonardo De Vinci, embossing Dancers, oil The 'Heder', embossing