Boundary Gallery | Spotlight: Working Life
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Spotlight: Working Life

Josef Herman, Roadworker, lithograph

 

Work and Workers

There is a long tradition of artists drawing their inspiration from the people and landscapes in their immediate surroundings. It was Jean Francois Millet (1814-1875) who for the first time featured peasants in the fields and people at work. The subject also inspired Van Gogh’s – Potato Eaters series. The theme of work and workers is particularly relevant to artists in the Boundary Gallery collection; some of whom arrived as exiles in the UK, settled in working communities and took inspiration from the people and working environments where they lived.  Work and working people feature throughout the Boundary Gallery collection. The Working Life exhibition includes selected images by Josef Herman, Ghisha Koenig, Horace Brodzky, Morris Kestleman, Eva Frankfurther, Alfred Wolmark and Gus Cummins.

Josef Herman RA

Josef Herman (1911- 2000) was inspired by both Millet and Van Gogh . Even before leaving Poland in 1938 he sketched peasants toiling the earth in the Carpathian Mountains during his summer holidays. This theme stayed with him throughout his career. As a left wing idealist, he believed in the dignity of work. This is partly why he chose to live in the mining town of Ystradgynlais from 1944 onwards, painting and drawing miners, his heroes. He also featured fishermen in Scotland (where he lived 1940-1944), Spain and Suffolk (Lowestoft). French peasants harvesting in Burgundy – where he went every year for extended periods – was another favourite theme.


Josef Herman
Seated Miner
Oil on canvas
130 x 95 cm

POA

 

 

 

 

Josef Herman
Head of Miner
mixed media
70×40 cm
POA

 

 

 

 

 

Josef Herman
In the Pit
Inkwash
17.5 x 22.6 cm
POA

Josef Herman
Down the Mine
Inkwash
17.7 x 22.6 cm
POA

 

 

 

Josef Herman
Collecting Firewood
Inkwash
16.7 x 22.4 cm
POA

 

 

 

 

 


Josef Herman

Hanging Out the Nets
Inkwash
17.4 x 22.6
cm
POA

 

 

 

 


Josef Herman

Harvester
1963
oil on canvas
30.5×40.7 cm

POA

 

 


Josef Herman

In the Fields
Inkwash
17.1 x 22.2 cm
POA

 

 

 


Josef Herman
Planting
Burgundy
1950-1
inkwash
20 x 25 cm
POA

 

 


Josef Herman

Planting II
Inkwash
POA

 

 


Josef Herman
Fisherman Mending Net
Inkwash
20 x 25 cm

POA

 


Josef Herman

Two Women Walking Home
1951-2
inkwash
20 x 25 cm
POA

 

 

 


Josef Herman

Roadworkers III
Inkwash
20.8 x 13.9 cm
1958-59
POA

 


Josef Herman

Sorting Fish
1958
Oil on Canvas
71×91 cm
POA

 

 


Josef Herman

Standing Miner
Watercolour
25.1 x 19.2 cm
POA

 

 


Josef Herman

Three Miners
1963
oil on canvas
54×61.6 cm
POA

 

 


Josef Herman

Quarryworker
Inkwash
POA

 

 

Josef Herman
Roadworker
lithograph
AP
signed
image size 52.5 x 68cm
sheet size 57 x 80 cm
POA

 

Ghisha Koenig

Ghisha Keonig (1921-1993) also with left wing tendencies, had the same philosophy as Herman, and she chose to model in clay workers in various factories producing anything from tents, buttons, telephone exchanges, glass and machines. She would sketch for several weeks on the shop floors and create numerous drawings before deciding which were to be modelled in clay and then cast in bronze. Her reliefs and sculpture in the round can be found in the collection of the Tate as well as other museum collections.

 

 

Ghisha Koenig
Drawings
Pen
22 x 10 cm / 22 x 10 cm / 15 x 12 cm
all signed separtely
POA

Ghisha Koenig
Glass Works
Hot Shop,Workers
1983-4
POA

 

 

 

Ghisha Koenig
Glassworks I
1984
bronze 3 of 5
25.5 x 18 x 11.5 cm
POA

Ghisha Koenig
Tentmakers ’81 I
1981
bronze
4 of 5
relief
52 x 62 cm
  • Sold

 

 

 

Horace Brodzky

Horace Brodzky, born in Melbourne in 1885, moved with his family to the USA in 1904; due to the earthquake, he transferred to New York where he studied art before coming to London 2 years later. Here he enrolled at the City and Guilds Art School. He represented Britain at the Venice Biennale in 1911.

He introduced the linocut process to Britain and his portfolio of 21 linocuts was published in New York in 1920 following his stay there from 1914 on until he returned to Britain in 1923.  He lived and worked in London until his death in 1969.

Horace Brodzky
Longshoremen
1919
linocut
13.8×11 cm
POA

 

 

 

Horace Brodzky
Builders
1919
linocut
17.2×21.5 cm
POA

 

 

 

Morris Kestelman RA

Morris Kestelman (1905-1998) throughout many years was fascinated with the body language of agricultural workers and fishermen at work in the South of France in his paintings, watercolours and some of his lithographs.

Morris Kestelman RA
Fishermen Port
POA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Morris Kestelman RA
Lunch in the Fields
oil on canvas
56 x 72 cm
POA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Morris Kestelman RA
Men in Fields
POA

 

 

 

 

 

Morris Kestelman RA
Fishermen Getting Ready
late 1950s
signed
aquatint
ed.5 of 20
36 x 50 cm
POA

 

 

Eva Frankfurther

Eva Frankfurther (1930-1959) who came as a refugee from Nazi Germany in 1938, moved into a damp basement flat after finishing art school in Whitechapel and made sketches and paintings of her fellow workers at the Tate and Lyle sugar factory and residents of her area.

Eva Frankfurther
Baker
lithograph
35 x 26 cm, 39.5 x 30 cm
POA

 

 

 

Eva Frankfurther
Cloth Maker
lithograph
signed
22.5 x 33.5 cm, 26.5 x 36.5 cm
POA

 

 

 


Eva Frankfurther

No.15
pen & ink
14.2 x 10.3 cm
POA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alfred Wolmark

Alfred Wolmark (1877 – 1961), born in Warsaw moved with his family to Britain in 1883. He studied at the Royal Academy 1895 – 1898 during which he accompanied William Rothenstein to draw characters of recent Jewish immigrants of East London.He went on to study Judaism in Poland 1905-1908. After 1911, and a visit to France, his style changed and he embarked on a career marked by bold colours and inventive and rhythmic compositions.He became a celebrated artist.

 

Alfred Wolmark
Newspaper Vendor
pen & ink
POA

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gus Cummins RA

Born in London in 1943, Cummins studied at the Sutton and Wimbledon Schools of Art and the Royal College of Art between 1958 – 1967.He has won numerous prizes including the Henry Moore prize in 1982 and the first prize in the Hunting Group in 1990 & 1999. His work is held at the Towner Museum, Eastbourne; Hasting Museum; Financial Times Collection; Contemporary Arts Society and the Royal College of Art, to mention but a few. He was elected Royal Academician in 1992.

Gus Cummins RA
St Mary – The Cupola
watercolour
133 x 100 cm
POA

Gus Cummins RA
St Mary in the Castle
watercolour
67 x 99 cm

POA