Jankel Adler

and the Avant-Garde
Chagall | Dix | Klee | Picasso






Marc Chagall and Paul Klee, Pablo Picasso and Otto Dix, Amedeo Modigliani and Francis Bacon − they all knew Jankel Adler, or were even friends with him. Adler, who was born in Tuszyn near Łódź in 1895, is regarded as an important representative and initiator of modern art. He was at the centre of the artistic avant- garde of the 1920s and was one of its driving forces. He was a member of the
"Young Rhineland" group as well as the "Cologne Progressives", and was also politically active in the magazines "Sturm" and "Aktion". Adler was an experimental, innovative, and internationally-connected artist on the path to fame.
The Von der Heydt-Museum’s exhibition, the first retrospective of Jankel Adler’s work in 30 years, includes art from all phases of this pioneer's oeuvre and connects them with the artistic activities of his friends. Through this selection of approximately 200 works, which the Von der Heydt-Museum has brought together from the USA, Israel, Brasilia, France, Poland, and Great Britain, the achievements of this painter-revolutionary can be rediscovered in the context of modernism. Like Chagall, Adler defined his individual artistic stance against the background of his Jewish origin, but formed a globally comprehensible pictorial repertoire.
As a co-founder of the "Young Yiddish" artists group, he was also an almost ideal target of the emerging National Socialist movement − as a representative of a late Expressionist, Cubist and Constructivist language of form, he was denounced as a "cultural Bolshevik" by the Nazis. While he was able to flee to Paris in 1933 and later to London, his works were branded as "degenerate art", shown in the exhibitions of the same name in Munich 1937 and in Berlin 1938, removed from the museums, sold at drastically undercut prices, and sometimes even destroyed.

However, this did not prevent Adler from finding a new, cosmopolitan style in exile after the defiant, spectacular work of the 1920s, which he then passed on to younger, primarily British artists, thereby decisively influencing post-1945 art.
His mystical and mysterious art, which focuses on the search for an existential human image, is still fascinating today.
17 April12 August 2018
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Von der Heydt-Museum
Di-So 11-18 Uhr
Do 11-20 Uhr
Mo geschlossen

Jankel Adler, Artist (Der Künstler, Ausschnitt), 1927, French & Company, New York © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2018
Jankel Adler, Angelika, 1923, Von der Heydt-Museum Wuppertal © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2018
Otto Dix, An die Schönheit, 1922, Von der Heydt-Museum Wuppertal © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2018
Paul Klee, Mit violettem Fünfeck, 1919, 83, Kunst- und Museumsverein im Von der Heydt-Museum Wuppertal
Foto: Kunst- und Museumsverein Wuppertal, Antje Zeis-Loi, Medienzentrum Wuppertal
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