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News & Fairs Previews

Pallant House Gallery presents 'Bomberg' - 21 October 2017 - 4 February 2018

Pallant House Gallery in Chichester will be presenting an exhibition of the work of David Bomberg (1890-1957), from 21 October 2017 until 4 February 2018.

In a reassessment of the artist's life and career, scheduled to mark the 60th anniversary of his death, the exhibition of more than 60 of the artist's works will be curated by the Ben Uri Gallery and Museum, and will focus on Bomberg's achievements within the context of British modernism and the profound developments in his style through many significant periods. Despite being ferociously underappreciated within his own lifetime, he is today recognised as one of the C20th's leading British artists.

Antiques News & Fairs - Pallant House Gallery presents Bomberg

David Bomberg, Ghetto Theatre, 1920, Ben Uri Collection © Ben Uri Gallery and Museum

Key themes explored in the exhibition will include:

- The artist’s Jewish background and engagement with Yiddish culture

- His important contribution to pre-war British modernism

- His role as a war artist in WW1 and WW2

- His work as a graphic artist and his exposure in contemporaneous ‘little magazines’

- The Jerusalem landscapes

- Self-portraiture and portraiture of friends and family 

- His mature achievements as a landscape painter 

Born in Birmingham to Polish-Jewish immigrant parents, Bomberg spent his formative years in London’s East End. In his time at the Slade School of Art, Bomberg was considered a ‘disturbing influence’. With a style not disimilar to the English Vorticists, he established contacts with the European avant-garde, and in 1914 co-curated (with Jacob Epstein) a ‘Jewish Section’ within the exhibition ‘Twentieth-century Art: A Review of Modern Movements’ at the Whitechapel Art Gallery

Antiques News & Fairs - Pallant House Gallery presents Bomberg

David Bomberg, Evening in the City of London, 1944, Museum of London © Museum of London

That same year, he held his first critically acclaimed show in London.  He sought a new and radical language to articulate his Jewish East End heritage and culture, seen in early works such as Ju-Jitsu (c. 1913, Tate), which reflect the artist’s experience as the son of Polish immigrants. 

Bomberg’s harrowing experiences while serving in the trenches during the First World War was compounded by a terrible period as a commissioned war artist (Study for Sappers at Work, 1918-19, Tate).  His post-war disillusionment is clearly illustrated in 'Ghetto Theatre' (1920, Ben Uri Collection). 

Antiques News & Fairs - Pallant House Gallery presents Bomberg

David Bomberg, Ju-Jitsu, c.1913, Tate © Tate, London 2017

In 1923, Bomberg travelled to Jerusalem and, on expeditions to Jericho, Petra and the Wadi Kelt, produced a series of landscapes which evolved from a tightly topographical style into a looser expressionist style. It marked his achievements in his final years, despite a series of disappointments including a difficult Second World War commission as a war artist. Following a visit to Spain in 1929, a renewed vigour allowed him to realise a self-promised status as a compelling, powerful creator of landscapes both in the UK and in Spain. 

Works from major institutions including the Arts Council, the Fitzwilliam and Tate, are gathered together with works from private collections, as well as from Pallant House Gallery and the Ben Uri Collection. The Pallant House Gallery collection spans Bomberg’s career from early Cubist drawings to his finest late works, including Talmudist (1953), the artist’s final Self-portrait, and his final landscape (both 1956). Ben Uri’s Collection reflects its close association with Bomberg, with works including Ghetto Theatre (1920) acquired from the artist as early as 1920. 

Antiques News & Fairs - Pallant House Gallery presents Bomberg

David Bomberg, Study for ‘Sappers at Work: A Canadian Tunnelling Company, Hill 60, St Eloi’, c.1918-19, oil on canvas, 304.2 x 243.8cm,

Tate © Tate, London 2017

Bomberg will run at Pallant House Gallery, Chichester from 21 October 2017 - 4 February 2018. It then tours to The Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle, from 17 February – 27 May 2018 before showing at Ben Uri Gallery and Museum, London during summer 2018.  For more information, visit Pallant House Gallery.

Additional exhibitions celebrating Jewish artists taking place in 2017 include Portrait of an Artist Ivor Weiss at The Weiss Gallery, Jermyn Street, London W1 and The Jewish Museum in London is hosting an exhibition, Designs on Britain focusing on the contribution of Jewish artists and designers to contemporary Britain. 

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