Jack Bilbo

Name
Jack Bilbo
Other names
Hugo Baruch
Birth and death
1907 - 1967
Occupations
Profession details
Artist, Writer
Related place
Author
Alistair Grant

Jack Bilbo [nee Hugo Baruch] (1907-1967) artist and writer, born in Berlin. He took the name Jack Bilbo in 1933 after the Nazis confiscated his family's business. He fled through France to Spain, before settling in London in 1936. A self-taught artist, he began to paint and sculpt and soon exhibited his work in London, but in 1940 was interned on the Isle of Man. During his internment he met other artists, which led to his founding the Modern Art Gallery after his release. Opened in London in 1941 during the Blitz, the Modern Art Gallery became a base for refugee artists, like Bilbo's friend Kurt Schwitters. After the war, the gallery closed and he moved to Weybridge where he created giant concrete, primitive figures in the garden of his home, 'Bilbo Bay'. Local hostility led to these works being destroyed by dynamite after he left England. In 1988 a retrospective exhibition at England & Co led to the British Museum acquiring the ink drawings for Bilbo's book 'Out of My Mind'. A 2nd exhibition, Jack Bilbo and the Moderns: The Modern Art Gallery 1941-48, also at England & Co in 1990, re-created his gallery, with Bilbo's own works alongside some of his contemporaries

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