Jankel Adler was the seventh of ten-children religious family. His father was a miller in Tuszyn, near Lodz. In 1912, he studies engraving in Belgrade, then enters an art school in Barmen, Germany, the following year. He continues his studies at the Decorative Arts Academy of Düsseldorf with Gustave Wiethüchter until 1914. During the war, he enrols in the Russian Army, is captured by the Germans but is released quickly.
In 1918, Adler comes closer to the group Der Sturm.
Back in Poland in 1918, Adler shows in Lodz and Warsaw. In 1919, in Lodz, he participates in the creation of the literary coterie Yung-Yiddish, with the writer Moyshe Broderzon, its founder.
He leaves for Düsseldorf in 1920.
In 1922, he meets Otto Dix and participates in the creation of the Die Kommune group. He also participates in the International Exhibition of revolutionary artists in Berlin. He meets great success with the frescos of the Planetarium that he paints in 1925.
After a short stay in Spain in 1930, he goes back to the Academy of Düsseldorf to study with Paul Klee in 1931. He draws a revolutionary placard during the elections at the Reichstag after the Hitler accession to power.
Fleeing Nazism, he leaves Germany and arrives in France in 1933. The following years (1935-1937) are punctuated by several trips to Italy, Romania, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Russia and Poland.
A major retrospective of his work takes place in Warsaw in 1935. In 1937, Jankel Adler settles down in Paris for some time, hangs out at the Atelier 17, headed by Stanley William Hayter. He stays in Cagnes-sur-Mer before enrolling in the Polish Army.
During the Second World War confrontations, he will be demobilised for health-related reasons in 1941 and transferred to the suburbs of London in 1943. Adler will ever go back to Germany since he had lost a big part of his family through deportation; he will refuse to show his art in this country and will die in the UK.
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