- Marcel Janco (b. Bucharest, 1895) took drawing and painting lessons from the Jewish artist Iosif Iser (1881-1958), who had worked with André Derain and Constantin Brancusi in Paris. In , Janco contributed drawings and the layout for Simbolul, a magazine published by two high school friends, Ion Iovanaki (later known as Ion Vinea) and Samy Rosenstock (Tristan Tzara). In 1914 Janco moved to Zurich to study mathematics and chemistry at the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH). A year later he decided to study architecture at the ETH with Karl Moser. ln Zurich, he resumed his friendship with Tristan Tzara and met Hans Arp.
- Together with Arp, Tzara, Richard Huelsenbeck, Hugo Ball, and Ball's wife Emmy Hennings, Janco participated in the opening of the famous Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich on February 5, 1916. He had his first show there that same year. A year later, Janco exhibited at the first Dada show in Zurich at the Dada gallery together with Arp, Giorgio de Chirico, Paul Klee, and Tzara. In 1918, he became a member of Das Neue Leben, a group of artists in Basel that included Arp, Fritz Baumann, Augusto Giacometti, Oscar Lüthy, Otto Morach, and Sophie Täuber. Following a conflict with Tzara, he became a founding member of the Radikale Künstler, along with Arp, Baumann, Viking Eggeling, Hennings, and Hans Richter. At their first group show at the Zurich Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Janco exhibited abstract reliefs incorporated into the gallery walls.
- In December 1921, he left Zurich for Paris. After a brief stay in Paris and Béthune, Janco returned to Bucharest together with his brother Jules, who had also moved to France. There, in 1922, they opened the Bureau of Modern Studies, an architecture studio. That same year Janco became the artistic director and editor of Contimporanul. Published by Ion Vinea, the magazine was the most important avant-garde periodical from Romania.
- Together with Vinea, Janco helped M.H. Maxy organize the First Internationol Art Exhibition of Contimporanul, which opened in Bucharest on November 30, 1924. Though he continued as an editor of Contimporanul, Janco also contributed to several other magazines. He was a major contributor to the avant-garde magazine Punct. After his Dada years Janco worked as an architect. He eigrated to Palestine in 1941, together with his second wife Medi and his two daughters. In Palestine, Janco worked as an architect for the conservation of monuments and integrated well in the local art scene. In 1953, he founded the artists'village Ein Hod. Marcel Janco died in 1984 in Israel.
- TEXT CREDITS
Shortened version of 'Marcel Janco', in From Dada to Surrealism. Jewish Avant-Garde Artists from Romania, 1910-1938 / Radu Stern and Edward Voolen (ed.) (Joods Historisch Museum Amsterdam : Amsterdam 2011) 132-134. See also: Amanda L. Hockensmith, 'Marcel Janco', published in Leah Dickerman (ed.), Dada. Zurich, Berlin, Hannover, Cologne, New York, Paris (National Gallery of Art : Washington DC 2005) 477-478. The article is translated in French and published in Dada / Catalogue publié sous la direction de Laurent Le Bon (Éditions du Centre Pompidou : Paris 2005) 534-535.
- IMAGE CREDITS
Marcel Janco, Zurich 1918 [Collection Janco Archives, Tel Aviv]
- Archives and Collections
- Secondary Literature