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Emil Janel
1897-1981

Theme/Style – Figurative art, still lifes, modernist landscapes

Media – Oils, sculptures, woodcarvings

Artistic Focus – Emil Janel was a master wood carver by any standard. He created lifelike grizzled old men engaged in conversation, boxers engaged in the fight of their lifetime, beautiful Art Deco women, and even self contained figures carefully carved within a larger piece of wood serving as a framework for the figures inside. And his artistic talents were not limited to his remarkable carving abilities. Janel was a painter with a very modernist palette, using bright, even luminous, colors to create imaginative and well-composed landscape and still life paintings.

Career Highlights –

• Emil Janel was born in Orsa, Sweden in 1897. He began whittling at age six, and by 1921 was exhibiting his work in Stockholm.
• In the late 1920s he immigrated to San Francisco, where he studied at the California School of Fine Arts.
• By the late 1930s Janel was spending much time at his cabin on the Russian River, where he produced carvings from the alder wood of that area.
• In 1965 Emil Janel was awarded the Royal Order of Vasa by the king of Sweden for his contribution to the arts.
• Janel passed away in San Francisco in 1981.

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