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The Art Story Homepage Artists Marcel Janco
Marcel Janco Photo

Marcel Janco

Romanian-Israeli Painter, Sculptor, and Architect

Movements and Styles: Dada, Expressionism, Constructivism

Born: May 24, 1895 - Bucharest, Romania

Died: April 21, 1984 - Ein Hod, Israel

Marcel Janco Timeline

"We had lost confidence in our 'culture.' Everything had to be demolished."

Marcel Janco Signature

Summary

Romanian born artist Marcel Janco relocated to Zurich in his twenties and joined forces with his friend Tristan Tzara in developing the Dada movement. They eventually expanded their new aesthetic, based on a combination of Cubism and Expressionism, to three-dimensional works and then a kind of early performance art. Eventually Janco abandoned the militaristic anti-art of Dada and concentrated instead on a form of Constructivism. In the 1920s-30s he expanded his area of expertise to architecture and opened up a firm that would eventually be responsible for introducing modern architecture to Bucharest. Faced with the brutal persecution brought on by growing anti-Semitism in Europe, Janco left Romania and immigrated to what was then, the Palestinian Mandate. His immediate involvement with local artists had a formative influence on the development of modern Israeli Art.

Key Ideas

Janco and Tzara collaborated in establishing performances at the Cabaret Voltaire. Purposefully wild and primitive in nature, these performances were intended to join a canon of work challenging traditional society and art. One of Janco's primary contributions was the creation of unusual primitive masks, which transformed the performers into shamans that broke many conventions.
Janco eventually abandoned Dada, finding it somewhat negative in outlook, and instead, embraced Constructivism. His exploration of this style, eventually moving into the fields of urban planning and architecture, resulted in the introduction of a modernist aesthetic to central Bucharest.
Janco played a major role in the modernization of Israeli Art, importing the latest trends in Constructivism from Romania. Once established he joined local artists in developing a more abstract approach to depictions of the local landscape and also turned his attention to pertinent local themes. Janco's significance for avant-garde Israeli Art continues today, through the still-active artist's colony he established in Ein Hod.
Marcel Janco Photo

Born to a wealthy family in Bucharest, Marcel Iancu was an emotional, dreamy boy, who recalled his childhood as a time of "freedom and spiritual enlightenment." From a young age, he felt guilty about his wealthy lifestyle and developed a desire for social justice. In 1912, he began his artistic career by creating illustrations for the Symbolist magazine Simbolul, co-editing it with his friends Ion Vinea and Tristan Tzara. Other early influences on the artist were the work of Cézanne, Cubism, and Futurism.

Influences and Connections

Influences on Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Influenced by Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Marcel Janco
Interactive chart with Marcel Janco's main influences, and the people and ideas that the artist influenced in turn.
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Show influences

Artists

Paul CézannePaul Cézanne
Pablo PicassoPablo Picasso
Hans RichterHans Richter

Personal Contacts

Hugo BallHugo Ball
Tristan TzaraTristan Tzara
Hans ArpHans Arp
Richard HuelsenbeckRichard Huelsenbeck

Movements

SymbolismSymbolism
CubismCubism
FuturismFuturism
Influences on Artist
Influences on Artist
Marcel Janco
Marcel Janco
Years Worked: 1912 - 1984
Influenced by Artist
Influenced by Artist

Artists

Michail GrobmanMichail Grobman
Avraham OfekAvraham Ofek

Personal Contacts

Joseph ZaritskyJoseph Zaritsky

Movements

DadaDada
ConstructivismConstructivism

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Cite this page

Content compiled and written by Jen Farren

Edited and revised, with Synopsis and Key Ideas added by Caroline Igra

" Artist Overview and Analysis". [Internet]. . TheArtStory.org
Content compiled and written by Jen Farren
Edited and revised, with Synopsis and Key Ideas added by Caroline Igra
Available from:
First published on 04 Jul 2016. Updated and modified regularly. Information
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