In May 2014 Goldmark held a major exhibition of over 100 oil paintings, watercolours and drawings by Polish artist Jankel Adler (1895-1949).
Despite the fact that Adler influenced a whole generation of British artists he has not had a major exhibition in the UK for over 50 years.
Jankel Adler was born in Lodz, Poland to Jewish parents in 1895. After his studies Adler spent time in Poland, Berlin and Paris then moved to Dusseldorf where he taught alongside his mentor Paul Klee.
Adler was forced to leave Germany in 1933, at the height of his success there, because of the rise to power of the Nazis. His paintings were removed from German museums and appeared on the lists of ‘degenerate art’. None of Adler’s nine siblings survived the Holocaust. Settling in Paris, he became friendly with Picasso and Otto Dix, whose influence on his work is apparent.
In 1940 Adler joined the Polish army and travelled to Glasgow where he had a great impact on the artists Robert Colquhoun and Robert MacBryde. He settled permanently in London in 1943 where he was to influence a number of young British painters including John Minton, Keith Vaughan, Prunella Clough, Michael Ayrton and the poet Dylan Thomas. Adler died prematurely, aged just 53, in 1949.
An exhibition catalogue was produced and included interviews on DVD with the renowned art critic Richard Cork.
Interest in Adler continues to grow. Recently an Adler oil painting sold in New York for a world record price of just over £250,000.
The exhibition in Uppingham opened on the 17th May 2014 and ran until 25th July.
An exhibition devoted to Jankel Adler’s achievement is long overdue. I am delighted that a show focusing on his final period in Britain, where he reached full maturity as an artist, has now arrived. – Richard Cork