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DAVID BOMBERGBritish 1890 - 1957

DAVID BOMBERGBritish 1890 - 1957

David Bomberg is now regarded as one of the greatest British artists and teachers of the 20th Century, although his work was often cruelly ignored during his own lifetime. His early work with the Vorticist group alone places him as one of the most important artists of his age, but his later work and teaching at the Borough Polytechnic inspired a generation of artists including Kossoff and Auerbach.

Born in Birmingham to a Polish Jewish family, Bomberg's education began in earnest with a move to London in 1905 and evening classes under Walter Bayes at the City & Guilds. He was fortunate to study under Walter Sickert at the Central School of Art and Westminster College, before joining the ranks of the 'golden generation' at the Slade School. Before World War I he worked for a period at Roger Fry's Omega Workshop and he traveled to Paris, meeting Picasso, Derain and Modigliani.

It was during this time that he attracted the attention of Wyndham Lewis who invited him into the Vorticist fold. Bomberg also exhibited with the New England Art Club and was a founder member of the London Group. The war was to have a profound effect on the artist and his work, as it did to many of his contemporaries, and after the cessation of violence he pulled back from the near abstraction of his Vorticist work to a more figurative and expressionist style. Bomberg was a keen traveler, often more at home with foreign subject matter, and the 1920s also saw his first trips to Spain and Palestine.

Bomberg was the inspiration behind the formation of the Borough Group in 1946, which later became the Borough Bottega. The Borough Group centered on those figures taught by Bomberg at the Borough Polytechnic and included the aforementioned Auerbach and Kossoff, but also notable artists such as Dennis Creffield. Borough University (as it is now) holds a significant collection of the artist work. The Tate Gallery held a major retrospective of the artist work in 1988.