Josef Herman OBE RA (1911-2000)

Herman was born in Warsaw, the son of a Jewish cobbler. He studied at the Warsaw School of Art 1930 from 1932 holding his first exhibition in 1932. Three years later with Siegmunt Bobovsky, he organized the ‘Phrygian Bonnet’, a group of young painters with Expressionist tendencies. Leaving Poland for Brussels in 1938 he fell under the influence of the Flemish expressionist Constant Permeke and worked in the Borinage. In 1940 he Settled in Glasgow where he met Jankel Adler, another refugee, and spent two years painting nostalgic reminiscences of his childhood. Arriving in London with his new Scottish wife in 1940 he was invited to exhibit at the Lefevre Gallery and in 1943 held an exhibition there with L S Lowry. A year later he settled in the Welsh mining village of Ystradgynlais, where he worked for the next ten years at first drawing and from 1947 painting pictures of miners, including a large picture ‘South Wales’ for the exhibition 60 Paintings for '51 and a still larger ‘Miners Crouching’ for the South Bank Festival of Britain Exhibition. He became a naturalized British subject in 1948 and a member of the London Group in 1952. He travelled widely although always based permanently in London. A Retrospective exhibition was held at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in 1956. He is represented in many public collections including the Tate, London, the National Museum of Wales, the Hunterian in Glasgow, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, the Hepworth Wakefield, Leeds City Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery.
Josef Herman RA (1911-2000)

Dancers' Dressing Room