The Artist Marcel Janco

Marcel Janco - artist, architect, theorist and teacher, man of spirit and of enterprise - was born in Romania in 1895. From a very young age he stood out for his versatile talents. As a student in Zurich in 1916 he joined a small group of exiled artists to found the Dada movement, one of the boldest revolutionary movements in the history of modern art.

Members of the Dada movement undertook to protest against the horrors of war and to undermine what they deemed the false values of bourgeois society. Janco took an active part in the movement's cabaret soirees, in its exhibitions and published his work in its periodicals. The Dadaistic ideas were his guiding principles throughout his life.

After his graduation Janco lived in Paris for a while. In 1922 he returned to Romania and settled in Bucharest. He had 20 very prolific years there, but after the rise of the Nazis to power and an ensuing pogrom in Bucharest he immigrated with his family to Palestine.

During the first decade of his life in the Land of Israel, feeling committed as an artist to the struggle for independence, he painted the freedom fighters, the landscapes of the newly born state, its veteran inhabitants and new immigrants - all against the background of current events. At the end of the 40's Janco was among the founders of the New Horizons group, and exhibited with its members till the mid 50's.

In 1953 he came upon an abandoned Arab village on the western slopes of Mount Carmel. The village was slated for demolition, but Janco succeeded in convincing the authorities to preserve the place and turn it into an artists village named Ein Hod. He brought there the first group of settlers and decided to make the place his own home as well.

Janco continued his artistic work and participated in numerous exhibitions in Israel and abroad. In 1967 he was awarded the Israel Prize for his life's work. He died in 1984.

It was only natural for Jancos friends and admirers to choose Ein Hod as the place to erect the house which would bear his name. The Janco Dada Museum was inaugurated in the summer of 1983. The museum features an active youth wing and a centre for the study of Janco's work and of the Dada movement.

The stamp, issued to mark the Israel-Romania Binational Stamp Exhibition that took place in 1993, displays the large oil on canvas painting "Immigrant Ship" (120x102cm) which Janco painted in 1945. The painting depicts Holocaust survivors Aliya Bet immigrants (Aliya Bet was the organized clandestine immigration to the Land of Israel during the British Mandate of Paletine), huddling at the lower part of the painting and depicted in gloomy colors, while the ship's hoisted sails flutter in optimistic bright colors. The composition of this work combines Janco's figurative and abstract styles.

The stamp was issued in 1993. Designer: Z. Rosenman.