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Jack Bilbo

Jack Bilbo (1907-67) was born Hugo Baruch in Berlin. A self-taught artist, adventurer, author, gallery owner, egotist and legendary bohemian, he was forced to leave Germany after campaigning against the Nazis, and eventually settled in London in 1936. After internment in 1939 on the Isle of Man, he returned to London and founded the Modern Art Gallery in 1941 where he showed works by Picasso and Schwitters alongside unknown artists.  After the war, he moved to Weybridge where he created giant primitive figures in cement which were later dynamited after he moved on to France in the early 1950s. Bilbo eventually returned to his native Berlin.

The first solo exhibition since his death in 1967 was held at England & Co in 1988 - a retrospective that led to the British Museum acquiring the set of macabre ink drawings that he made for his book Out of My Mind (1946). Another exhibition in 1990, Jack Bilbo and The Moderns focused on his idiosyncratic gallery and the artists he championed. Bilbo was featured in Outsiders & Co (1996); Obsessive Visions: Art Outside the Mainstream (2001); Wandering Lines ii (2012); and Between Worlds: Rituals & Pagan Rites (2013). A substantial group of his drawings from the late 1940s were  included in the exhibition Twelve-Fisted Boxing Caterpillar: Jack Bilbo & Ben Woodeson 10 April - 3 May 2014.

England & Co have represented the Estate of Jack Bilbo since 1988. In 2014, the gallery collaborated on a solo exhibition of Bilbo's works at the David Zwirner gallery, London. In 2017, England & Co liaised with the artist Daniel Richter when he curated an exhibition of works and associated ephemera by Bilbo at the Max Liebermannhaus/Stiftung Brandenburger Tor to accompany an exhibition of his own work.

Drawings & works on paper   


The Return - Details

The Return 1944
28 x 20 inches
Oil on board

Private collection

Masked Dancer - Details

Masked Dancer 1945
24 x 20 inches
Oil on board

The Harem - Details

The Harem 1943
28 x 36 inches
Oil on board

Private collection

Les Joueurs - Details

Les Joueurs 1955
38 x 58 inches
Oil on canvas