Josef Herman (1911 − 2000)

Josef Herman was as born in Warsaw, one of three children of a Jewish shoemaker. After working in a printing office, he attended the art academy. Following the German invasion of Poland in 1940 he came to Britain, living at first in Glasgow and later settling in South Wales where he recorded the powerful visual impact of the landscape, pits and villages. Having found sympathetic subject matter he travelled widely in Europe, Israel and Mexico, drawing peasants, roadworkers, washerwomen and fishermen at their work and rest. A subjective treatment of the human figure is his exclusive concern. His art attempted to express the eternal ritual of human labour in a consistent style of rough outlines and free patches of colour and shading.

Glossary (2)

  • Drawing

    The depiction of shapes and forms on a flat surface chiefly by means of lines although colour and shading may also be included. Materials most commonly used are pencil, ink, crayon, charcoal, chalk and pastel, although other materials, including paint, can be used in combination.

  • Landscape

    Landscape is one of the principle genres of Western art. In early paintings the landscape was a backdrop for the composition, but in the late 17th Century the appreciation of nature for its own sake began with the French and Dutch painters (from whom the term derived). Their treatment of the landscape differed: the French tried to evoke the classical landscape of ancient Greece and Rome in a highly stylised and artificial manner; the Dutch tried to paint the surrounding fields, woods and plains in a more realistic way. As a genre, landscape grew increasing popular, and by the 19th Century had moved away from a classical rendition to a more realistic view of the natural world. Two of the greatest British landscape artists of that time were John Constable and JMW Turner, whose works can be seen in the Tate collection ( There can be no doubt that the evolution of landscape painting played a decisive role in the development of Modernism, culminating in the work of the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists . Since then its demise has often been predicted and with the rise of abstraction, landscape painting was thought to have degenerated into an amateur pursuit. However, landscape persisted in some form into high abstraction, and has been a recurrent a theme in most of the significant tendencies of the 20th Century. Now manifest in many media, landscape no longer addresses solely the depiction of topography, but encompasses issues of social, environmental and political concern.

Work Theme

Past exhibitions


  • 1993
    • Scotland, Glasgow, Glasgow Art Centre


  • 1988
    • UK, Wakefield, Elizabethean Exhibition Gallery


  • 1980
    • UK, London, London Borough Of Camden


  • 1964
    • Romania, Palace Of Culture
    • Romania, Bucharest, National Gallery
    • Slovakia, Bratislava, Mirbach Palace & Palffy Palace
    • Czechoslovakia, Prague, ULUV Exhibition Hall
  • 1963
    • Hungary, Budapest, Ernst Museum


  • 1963
    • Hungary, Budapest, Ernst Museum
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