Jankel Adler 1895 - 1949

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Head Study

Head Study

Biography

Jankel Adler was born in Tuszyn, near Lodz, Poland. Studied at the School of Applied Arts in Barmen, (now Wupperthal) Germany from 1916 onwards. Settled in Dusseldorf in the early 1920's and formed a friendship with Otto Dix who had an influence on his work. An even greater influence was Paul Klee who had a nearby studio in Dusseldorf in the early 1930's. It was probably from Klee that Adler learnt the technique of 'offset' monotype which he later passed to many young British artists after the Second World War when he settled in Britain. After the Nazi rise to power, Adler settled in Paris where he met another major influence,Pablo Picasso. He also had a short spell at Stanley Hayter's Atelier 17. In 1935 held a retrospective in Warsaw. Adler briefly returned to Poland between 1935-37. He joined the Polish Army of the West in 1940 and was eventually evacuated to Britain from Dunkirk. Settled and showed in Glasgow during the World War II until 1943 when he moved to London. In London he settled in a studio in Bedford Gardens above the 'Two Roberts' Colquhoun and MacBryde, whom he knew from Glasgow. John Minton also had a studio there and so Adler the refugee became an artistic link between the European avant-garde and a number of young British painters including Keith Vaughan, Prunella Clough, Benjamin Creme, Michael Ayrton and the playwright Dylan Thomas. Had a series of shows with Lefevre Gallery, Gimpel Fils Gallery and Knoedler Galleries in New York. Arts Council gave Adler a memorial show in 1953. There was a major show in Dusseldorf, Tel-Aviv and Lodz in 1980. The Tate Gallery and major foreign galleries hold examples of his work.