Auction 168 Part 1 Israeli & International Art
Jan 20, 2018 (Your local time)
 Kikar de Shalit, Herzeliya Pituah
The auction has ended

LOT 39:

Marcel Janco
1895 - 1984

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Sold for: $32,000
Start price:
$ 20,000
Estimated price:
$30,000 - $50,000
Auction house commission: 15%
VAT: On commission only

1895 - 1984
Refugees, 1939,
Oil on cardboard laid down on canvas,
50X70 cm.
Signed (Faded).

Provenance: Estate of Janet Tocatly (Jaglom).

Janco’s atelier lable attached to the reverse.

Exhibition: Janco-Dada Museum, April-July, 1990.

This painting is usually attributed to 1939 (also dated on the label on the reverse), however, this is very unlikely (as a rule of thumb, Janco excelled at inaccuracies regarding the dates of his paintings) because the painting depicts an event that took place in 1941: at the end of June ’41, some few days after Operation Barbarossa (the German invasion into the Soviet Union), but prior to the ”Final Solution”, bloody events took place in Iasi in Romania, one of the most brutal pogroms in the history of East-European Jews. Romanian authorities orchestrated the pogrom in collaboration with the German Nazis.
All of the Jews were taken out, 14,000 – 20,000 murdered. Marcel Janco came to Israel in 1941, around the time of this painting, horrified at the murder of his brother in law in Bucharest by the ”Iron Guard” members, and his exclusion from any public-artistic activity as a Jew.
Expulsion paintings by Janco in his Romanian period (a few exist in different variations), expressed his universal humanism, more than his Jewish identity.
A painting such as ”The Expulsion from Iasi” cannot be separated from other paintings he made in Israel from 1953 and onwards depicting Palestinian refugees leaving (expelled? Escaping?) their village En Khod in 1948, just a few years before that village – now Ein Hod – is populated by artists, led by Marcel Janco.
Form wise, ”The Expulsion from Iasi” is a significant painting by Janco, related to a line of paintings depicting expulsion of Jews, painted since Samuel Hirschenberg’s ”Exile” (1904), ”Refugees” by Abel Pann (1906) and others. Customary to Janco’s figurative paintings, the whole painting is constructed with dramatic rhythmic lines, confronting sharp forms with round and contrasting blues with reds. The trees at fall, outside the town seen in the background, symbolize the cold winter destined for Jewish refugees, oblivious to their soon to be harsh fate.
(Translated and adapted from Gidon Ofrat)

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