Painter and draughtsman Maurice Sochachewsky was born into a Jewish family in the London borough of Hackney, England in 1918 and raised among a close-knit, working-class, Jewish community in the East End, who helped to shape his outlook. At the age of fourteen, he won a scholarship to St Martin’s School of Art in London. After graduating in the early 1930s, he visited the Welsh village of Tal-y-Wain and the Monmouthshire Colliery, where for eight months he painted numerous portraits of the miners and their families, observing the hardship of their lives first-hand. This led to his first major solo exhibition of 25 paintings at the Bloomsbury Gallery, London in 1938, although subsequently many of the artworks were lost. Later, in 1948, Sochachewsky returned to this subject, illustrating two books by the journalist and writer Theo Lang. By then, Sochachewsky was living in London, with his wife, Constance.
During the Second World War, while serving in the British army for the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, Sochachewsky was wounded during the Battle of Normandy and lost an eye. He continued to paint and exhibited regularly in group exhibitions at Ben Uri Gallery from 1944; he also served as a member of the Arts Committee in the 1950s. In 1949 he visited Israel, carrying out numerous drawings and paintings, and in 1953 held a solo exhibition of drawings from this trip at Ben Uri Gallery. A further solo exhibition in 1969 included his portrait of Ben Uri founder Moshe Oved. In his later years he retired to Kent.
Maurice Sochachewsky died in Kent, England in 1969. His work is held in the Ben Uri Collection, the Jewish Museum London and Amgueddfa Cymru – Museum Wales.