Jankel Adler Biography – Jacob Samuel

Jankel Adler  born in Germany and moved to Poland when he was a young boy. Most of his artistic education he revived at the Rhineland region. In 1914, in Germany,he begun studying at the college of arts and crafts with professor Gustav  Wiethücher. In 1922, upon his arrival in Dusseldorf, Adler was already known at the local artistic community.

Adler presented together with a group of “Young Rhineland”, He was also active with a group of the “progressive artists” in Cologne. Adler was a member of the group till its dissolution by the Nazis. At that time he won tenders murals on public buildings. Many German museums acquired his paintings. His works were shown throughout Germany and even in Moscow. In 1931 he received a workshop at the Academy of Dusseldorf, next door to Paul Klee.

In 1933, when the Nazis came to power, Adler was forced to flee from German and his works entered the list of “degenerate art”. After the war, exhibitions were held in 1955 and 1967 in Germany. In 1967 in the Reihnland region awoke a new interest in the local 20s art scene. Adler paintings attracted a distinctive attention. Very few works of Adler survived from his early period till the 20s.
Yankel Adler was influenced by the cubist elements already in the early twenties, during these years he researched and checked the tension between abstraction and naturalism, as did the Cubists. Adler used collages in his works, he used the cards of the mezuzah, fragments of prayer, Calligraph to modify his works with Hebrew and mystical Jewish elements.
Despite the fame and successes Adler recived in Germany before he fleed, when he arrived to Britain in 1941, Adler was not known. In England he found himself a new house and a new option to create. Adler was active in the local art circles and influenced the young artists.However Adler didn’t get a British citizenship in his life.
Adler was very much influenced by Picasso.
Yankel Adler died in 1949 with the bitter news that none of  his nine brothers and sisters survived the Holocaust, but his art will live liver for ever.

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