Marcel Janco, a renown painter and founder of the Dadaist movement (anti-artists), is seen as one of the most important artists of Jewish-Romanian origin, and he currently belongs to the cultural and artistic heritage of both Romania and Israel.
Marcel Janco, born in Bucharest in 1895, had joined a group of artists at the Café Vol- taire in Zurich, Switzerland in 1916, and was among the principal founders of the Dada Movement. Dada was a unique artistic movement which had a major impact on 20th century art. It was established in Cabaret Voltaire, in Zurich, Switzerland, by a group of exiled poets, painters and philosophers who were opposed to war, aggression and the changing world culture. Among the founders were Marcel Janco, Hugo Ball, Emmy Hennings, Hans Arp, Richard Huelsenbeck, and, another compatriot of Jewish origin, Tristan Tzara.
Dada soirées featured spontaneous poetry, avant-garde music, and mask wearing dancers in elaborate shows. The Dadaists teased and enraged the audience through their bold defiance of Western culture and art, which they considered obsolete in view of the destruction and carnage of World War I. The Dadaists objected to the aesthetics of Western contemporary painting, sculpture, language, literature and music. The group published articles and periodicals, and mounted exhibi- tions. The seeds sown in Zurich spread throughout the world, resulting in new Dada organizations in Paris, New York, Berlin, Hannover, and more. Janco designed masks and costumes for the famous Dada balls, and created abstract relieves in cardboard and plaster. He had an eclectic style in which he brilliantly combined abstract and figurative elements, expressionistic in nature.
In 1922, Marcel Janco returned to his native Romania, where he made his mark as a painter, theore- tician and architect. In 1941, he moved to the land, which was to become the nation of Israel in 1948. It was here that Janco was founded the New Horizons Group. In Israel, Janco painted idyllic watercolor and oil depictions of Safed and Tiberias and was captivated by the exotic sights of the Orient.
In 1953, on the ruins of an abandoned Arab village, Marcel Janco established the artists’ village known as Ein Hod, which now boasts the The Janco Dada Museum. Ein Hod is a picturesque artists’ village, the only one of its kind in Israel and one of the few such villages in the world. Nestled in natural vegetation and bordered by an ancient olive grove, it lies on the western slopes of Mt. Carmel, in a breathtaking landscape looking out toward the sea and the Crusader fortress of Atlit. Nowadays, Ein Hod is a unique and romantic retreat where painters, sculptors, ceramists, actors and many other artists form every artistic fields, live and create. Throughout the years, ten of Ein Hod’s artists have won the Israel Prize.
In 1967, Marcel Janco was awarded the Israel Prize for Painting. In the last years of his life he worked together with his friends to erect the Janco Dada Museum. Janco died ten months after the inauguration of the museum in 1984.
The Janco Dada Museum is situated in the center of the Ein Hod Artists’s Village, twenty km South of Haifa. The mu- seum contains several display galleries. The permanent display is dedicated to Marcel Janco’s seventy years of artistic creation, the entrance gallery is available for young artists and special projects, and the lower gallery exhibits contemporary art.
The museum also features a youth wing and a DADALAB, a unique art laboratory.
Presentation compiled by LORA HARANACIU