Rediscovering Wolmark: A Pioneer of British Modernism

Alfred Aaron Wolmark was born into a Jewish family in Warsaw, Poland in 1877, and moved to England  in 1883, first to Devon and then to the East End of London. He trained at the Royal Academy from 1895-1899 (where he added the English 'Alfred' to his name), exhibiting there between 1901 and 1936, as well as with the Allied Artists Association (from 1908-16) and the International Society (from 1911-25). He held his first solo exhibition at Bruton Galleries in London in 1905 and, from 1907, began to exhibit widely within both Germany and the UK. Wolmark's teenage years in London’s East End and two lengthy stays in his native Poland between 1903-06, had a huge visual and spiritual, impact on his early Rembrandtesque work and Jewish subject matter. In July 1911, however, after an artistic epiphany on honeymoon in Concarneau, Brittany, Wolmark jettisoned his early methods in favour of the ‘New Art’ and embarked upon the pioneering 'colourist' path that he followed for the next two decades of his working life.