Artist biography

Jankel Adler 1895-1949

Polish-Jewish figure and still-life painter, born in Lodz; as a youth, thought at one time of becoming a rabbi. Went to Germany in 1913 or 1914 to stay with his sisters in Barmen, and studied painting at the Barmen School of Arts and Crafts under Gustav Wiethüchter. 1918-19 in Poland, then returned to Germany, settling c.1922 at Düsseldorf. Developed a monumental figure style and made some murals, including frescoes for the D-4sseldorf Planetarium; awarded the Gold Medal at the Deutsche Kunst exhibition in Düsseldorf 1928. First one-man exhibition with Franz W. Seiwert in the Barmen Museum 1928. Worked in a studio at the Düsseldorf Academy 1931-3 and became a friend of Paul Klee. Began to develop a more arbitrary, expressionistic style under the influence of Klee and Picasso. Left Germany in 1933 and spent the next years in Paris, Poland, Italy, the Balkans, Russia. 1937 in Paris worked with Hayter in Atelier 17, then moved to Cagnes-sur-Mer. After the outbreak of war, joined the Polish Army in France and was evacuated in 1940 to Scotland; discharged 1941. Lived in Kirkcudbright, then from 1943 in London where he held several exhibitions and met Colquhoun, MacBryde and other young artists. Died at Aldbourne, Wilts.

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.[1]