An English Fauve
Few works by Alfred Wolmark come under the hammer in France. This painting highlighting his gift as a colourist now leaves a Swiss collection it joined in 1991.
Alfred Aaron Wolmark (1877-1961), Two nudes with a red ball, 1913, oil on canvas, 131 x 99 cm.
In terms of size, palette and period, this painting has a wealth of assets, because although works from the latter part of Alfred Wolmark's life appear from time to time in public auctions abroad, early 20th century pieces could be counted on one hand in the last ten years. Rarer still are those like the one here, noteworthy for its vivid palette and large figures in flat colours. Alfred Aaron Wolmark was born in Poland and moved to England in 1883, where he grew up in Devon and north-east London. He was only 17 when he entered the Royal Academy, exhibiting there from 1901 to 1936. 1910 marked a turning point in his work, inspired from then on by post-Impressionism. From 8 November 1910 to 14 January 1911, one of his paintings was shown at the Grafton Gallery in London by Roger Fry as part of "Manet and the Post-Impressionists" – next to a painting by Vincent Van Gogh... A cause of pride for the artist, of course. With 220 works, including 150 paintings by artists largely unknown to the public, this exhibition was the most important devoted to post-Impressionism outside France.