Family Bereavement, 1913

by David Bomberg

P.O.A.

Throughout every period of his career Bomberg’s works reveals his passion for expression and his desire to challenge the possibilities of painting, despite going against the prevailing fashions of the day. Bomberg’s legacy still permeates the work of subsequent generations of figurative artists who have followed in his footsteps.

DIMENSIONS: (unframed) 55.5 x 47.0 cms / 21.9 x 18.5 inches
SIGNATURE: Signed
MEDIUM: Charcoal

Catalogue No: 5695 Categories: ,

David Bomberg was a British painter best known for his brash, angular avant-garde works. The artist was commonly associated with his machine-like depictions of the human figure.

Bomberg was the only modern artist of his generation to have a solo show in the years prior to the First World War.

Marlborough-Gerson Gallery, New York;
Acquired by the family of the previous owner, 1968;
Private Collection, United Kingdom

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New York, The Museum of Modern Art, A Treasury of Modern Drawing: The Joan and Lester Avnet Collection, 28th April – 4th July 1978, cat. no.4, illustrated in the exhibition catalogue p.53

David Garshen Bomberg (5 December 1890 – 19 August 1957) was a British painter, and one of the Whitechapel Boys.

Bomberg was one of the most audacious of the exceptional generation of artists who studied at the Slade School of Art under Henry Tonks, and which included Mark Gertler, Stanley Spencer, C.R.W. Nevinson and Dora Carrington. Bomberg painted a series of complex geometric compositions combining the influences of cubism and futurism in the years immediately preceding World War I; typically using a limited number of striking colours, turning humans into simple, angular shapes, and sometimes overlaying the whole painting a strong grid-work colouring scheme. He was expelled from the Slade School of Art in 1913, with agreement between the senior teachers Tonks, Frederick Brown and Philip Wilson Steer, because of the audacity of his breach from the conventional approach of that time.

Whether because his faith in the machine age had been shattered by his experiences as a private soldier in the trenches or because of the pervasive retrogressive attitude towards modernism in Britain Bomberg moved to a more figurative style in the 1920s and his work became increasingly dominated by portraits and landscapes drawn from nature. Gradually developing a more expressionist technique, he travelled widely through the Middle East and Europe.

From 1945 to 1953, he worked as a teacher at Borough Polytechnic (now London South Bank University) in London, where his pupils included Frank Auerbach, Leon Kossoff, Philip Holmes, Cliff Holden, Edna Mann, Dorothy Mead, Gustav Metzger, Dennis Creffield, Cecil Bailey and Miles Richmond. David Bomberg House, one of the student halls of residences at London South Bank University, is named in his honour. He was married to landscape painter Lilian Holt.

 

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