Two Figures 1944

JANKEL ADLER (1895-1949) Biography

Two Figures 1944 (United Kingdom , 1944)

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Oil on canvas
Signed and dated on the reverse


112.00cm high
86.50cm wide
(44.09 inches high)
(34.06 inches wide)
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Estate of the Artist
Waddington Galleries
Arnold H Maremont, Chicago
Jacob Schulman, Gloversville, New York

Exhibition History

London, Arts Council of Great Britain, Adler, Memorial Exhibition, 1949-50

Wuppertal, Stastisches Museum, Jankel Adler, 1895-1949, 1955, number 9, illustrated page 9

Zurich, Galerie Charles Lienhard, Jankel Adler, 1959, number 7

New York, Jewish Museum, Jewish Experience in the Art of the Twentieth Century, 1975-1976, number 6

Ilkley, Yorkshire, Manor House Art Gallery, The Constructed Space: Paintings, Sculpture and Verse commemorating the Poet W S Graham, Ilkley Literature Festival, April-June 1994

London, Phillips New Bond Street, The Ben Uri Story - from Art Society to Museum 1915-2000, January 8-25th 2001, catalogue number 3, illustrated in colour twice pages 68 & 78

Edinburgh, Phillips, The Ben Uri Story, August 30th-September 17th 2001

Description / Expertise

Jankel Adler was born into a large Jewish family in Tuszyn, Poland. In 1911, he entered the Barmen School of Arts and Crafts in Dusseldorf, studying under Gustav Wiethuechter. In 1914, he was conscripted into the Russian Army and was soon captured by the Germans. In 1918, released from captivity, he returned to and exhibited in Warsaw. His first commission - a set of frescoes for the Dusseldorf Planetarium - came in 1925. He returned and settled in Dusseldorf after three years of travel in Germany, Mallorca and Spain. He took a teaching post in the Dusseldorf Academy teaching alongside Paul Klee, who was to play a significant part in his development, who had left the Bauhaus in 1929. Labeled a degenerate, he fled to Paris in 1933.

He returned to Warsaw in 1935 for a large retrospective exhibition, which included works recovered from Dusseldorf by the Polish Government. Having returned to France he volunteered for the Polish Army at the outbreak of the Second World War, but released on medical grounds, was evacuated to Scotland in 1940. Having settled in Scotland he had an exhibition in Glasgow in 1942.

In 1943 he moved to London where he lived until 1948. During this period he exhibited in the Lefevre Gallery, London and the Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels and had his first American exhibition at the Knoedler Galleries in New York. It was while living and working in London that he was to have a studio in the same building as Robert Colquhoun and Robert MacBryde, in Bedford Gardens. With his experience of Paul Klee and study of L├ęger and Picasso, he was instrumental in bringing a new language and vision to their work.