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David Bomberg

From Academic Kids

David Bomberg (December 5, 1890August 19, 1957) was a British painter.

Born in Birmingham, Bomberg trained as a lithographer in Brum and gained his artistic licence from the upbringing he received in the ever changing West Midlands Industrial landscape. Bomberg later went on to study art in London, first at the Westminster School of Art (where he was taught by Walter Sickert), and later at the Slade School of Art.

He travelled to France where he met Modigliani and Picasso.

Bomberg's first well known works date from the 1910s. They are rather complex geometric compositions built over relatively traditional subjects, and typically use a limited number of striking colours. Humans are turned into simple, angular shapes, and a simple grid-work colouring scheme sometimes overlays the whole painting. Mud Bath (1914) and In The Hold (probably 1914) can be said to be typical of this period.

Some have noted that his art style has been closely paralleled to the Graffiti movement of New York in the late 70's with words being moulded out of flowing hard edged 3D shapes.

At this time, Bomberg was associated with Vorticism, though he never allowed himself to be a full member of the movement, despite Wyndham Lewis' efforts, not allowing his work to be reproduced in BLAST, the Vorticists' journal, for example.

Later, Bomberg's works became more representational, and from the late 1920s his style became more expressionist. He painted a number of portraits and landscapes of the places he travelled to in the Middle East and Europe.

Bomberg also worked as a teacher at the Borough Polytechnic in London from 1945 to 1953, where he taught Frank Auerbach and Leon Kossoff, among others.

Bomberg died in London in 1957, his critical stock rising sharply thereafter. A major retrospective of his work was held at the Tate Gallery in 1988.

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