Gabriel Zendel

1906 1994
(France) 1906 /   (France) 1994

Gabriel Zendel’s mother, Regina Jaskierowitz, was originally from Poland. His father took him on to work with him at his library in avenue Jean-Jaurès, Paris, when Gabriel was fourteen years old. The young Zendel set up an easel in the back shop. His parents encouraged him to paint at a young age. In 1925, Zendel enrolled in the Institut d’Esthétique Contemporaine (Institute of Contemporary Aesthetics) in Rue Notre-Dame-des-Champs, where Paul Bornet was a professor. The next year, he did his national service in Morocco for eighteen months. Back in Paris, he resumed studying under Paul Bornet who taught him the techniques of engraving on copper and wood as well as to make prints. He studied for three years. At the same time, he earned his living by working in advertising. He travelled to Holland and to northern Italy from where he brought numerous drawings.

In 1929, Zendel sold his first painting Landscape of Montmartre and enjoyed a certain celebrity. On the request of Jean Cassou, the state bought one of his paintings.

Zendel did not travel much, but he enjoyed drawing in the vicinity of Paris, in Meudon and in Chaville.

After the war broke out, he was mobilized to serve in a hospital train. He continued to draw and sent his works to Amiens, with a view to organize an exhibition, but everything disappeared when the city was destroyed. In December 1939, he married Agathe Schneider. He was discharged from service in July and returned to Paris. He was arrested but managed to escape and settled in Cannes where he painted relentlessly. Following the war, he returned to his studio in Paris.

In 1947, Zendel produced twenty-five drawings for Léon-Paul Fargue’s Le Cirque (the circus) and planned to publish a book on dance. However, this plan remained a draft. In 1949, he went to America on the occasion of an exhibition of his works at the Durand-Ruel gallery in New York. The collector Stephen Clark bought him a painting. Durand-Ruel organized several exhibitions of Zendel’s work in Paris.