This book focuses on the works of Modernist artist Alfred Wolmark, the fourth in the Ben Uri’s series on the ‘Whitechapel Boys’, highlighting the transformation from Wolmark’s early brilliant evocations of Eastern European Jewish life to becoming Britain’s first and most eloquent apostle of pure colour.
In his early religious pictures of the Jewish communities of both Poland, where he was born and brought up, and of Whitechapel, where he worked, Wolmark worked in a dark palette distinguished by an intense empathy for these subjects. The book presents a comprehensive body from the small, though significant, works that remain from this period alongside rarely-seen single figure and complex group figures on paper.
Following a radical point of departure in 1911, Wolmark blazed a pioneering trail as a Modern British colourist. Initially influenced by the French Post-Impressionists, his work also draws on his contemporaries in the Camden Town Group and the Scottish Colourists. Wolmark’s Jewish heritage gave him a unique perspective, and he is now recognised as a forerunner of the next generation of British modernists: his fellow ‘Whitechapel Boys’.
Wolmark’s keen eye for design led to experiments in a broad range of media, ranging from sculpture to ceramics, theatre and poster design, book illustration, and even stained-glass, all of which are represented in the publication.
This is an exhibition catalogue focusing on the works of Modernist artist Alfred Wolmark. The Ben Uri originated and toured the first major retrospective of Wolmark’s work for nearly 30 years in the autumn of 2004. This was part of the fourth in the Ben Uri’s series on the ‘Whitechapel Boys’. The exhibition highlighted the transformation from Wolmark’s early brilliant evocations of Eastern European Jewish life to becoming Britain’s first and most eloquent apostle of pure colour.