Jacques Yankel was a French Expressionist painter, graphic artist, sculptor and initially a scientist. He was born in Paris in 1920 as Jacob Yankel Kikoine, he was the son of the School of Paris painter, Michel Kikoine (1892-1968).
As a child he lived in the artists' colony of La Ruche in Paris. In 1938 he enrolled at the École des Arts Appliqués in Paris but was unable to complete his course after the German occupation of France. As a Jew, he was forced to flee Paris and so moved to Toulouse in Southern France where it was much safer. Abandoning his artistic endeavors, he studied geology at the Faculté des Sciences in Toulouse.
After 1945 he worked for a while for the French government as a geologist in Western Africa but by 1950, he was devoting more and more time to his painting. In 1952 he moved back to Paris and he had his first exhibitions in Paris and Mulhouse. In 1955 he was awarded the ‘Prix Neumann’ and this exposure led to numerous offers of exhibitions throughout France in the ensuing years. Jacques Yankel died in 2004.