Albert Wainwright Illustrator, designer and artist.
Another ‘new to me’ and very interesting artist was also featured at The Hepworth when I went a few weeks ago.
Castleford-born Albert Wainwright (1893 – 1943) was a gifted artist, designer and illustrator. A school friend of Henry Moore, he achieved but a fraction of Moore’s acclaim during his lifetime. Despite only living to the age of forty five, he produced an astounding body of work, remarkable for it’s inventiveness and intuitive feeling for line and form.
Examples of his illustrative work on display reveal a brilliant draftsmen, who assimilated a wide range of influences. These include decorative flourishes of art nouveau, the expressive intensity of the Viennese Secessionists and the visionary drawings of Aubrey Beardsley.
A keep portraitist, Wainwright’s models were often schoolchildren that he taught, or actors and actresses of his acquaintance. He would usually set the scene with props and clothing to which he gave as much attention as the model. The jewel-like colours and fluid lines of these watercolours reveal his love of Japanese art. The heavily stylised facial features conform to an androgynous ideal of beauty that was popular at the time.
Included in the display are several sketchbooks that record his travels abroad and his particular love of Germany. His sketches from 1927 – 38 bear witness to the great social political and economic changes in Europe at that time.
The Yorkshire Landscape was also a great source of inspiration to Wainwright. From 1930 until his death he spent every summer at Robin Hood’s Bay, from which stemmed a body of coastal views, life studies and imaginative compositions. Some of the finest are on display at the exhibition, like these.
This exhibition, is the first of Wainwright’s work in Yorkshire in over thirty years. It sheds further light on this talented and much neglected artist. The exhibition is on until May 18th 2014.