David Bomberg (1890-1957)

Artist David Bomberg was born in Birmingham in 1890, the fifth child in a Polish-Jewish immigrant family, but grew up in Whitechapel in the East End of London.

The Ben Uri collection includes 15 works by David Bomberg including Ghetto Theatre (1920) and Racehorses (1913). Find out more about David Bomberg.

Ghetto Theatre by David Bomberg

Ghetto Theatre 1920

Racehorses by David Bomberg

Racehorses 1913

Work by David Bomberg in the Ben Uri Collection

Ghetto Theatre by David Bomberg

Ghetto Theatre

Ghetto Theatre, Study by David Bomberg

Ghetto Theatre, Study

The Family (Study for Ghetto Theatre II) by David Bomberg

The Family (Study for Ghetto Theatre II)

Figure Composition by David Bomberg

Figure Composition

Racehorses by David Bomberg

Racehorses

 by David Bomberg

Ronda, Spain

At the Window by David Bomberg

At the Window

English Woman by David Bomberg

English Woman

Portrait of John Rodker by David Bomberg

Portrait of John Rodker

The Studio by David Bomberg

The Studio

Study for Ghetto Theatre I by David Bomberg

Study for Ghetto Theatre I

The Broken Aqueduct, Wadi Kelt near Jericho by David Bomberg

The Broken Aqueduct, Wadi Kelt near Jericho

Mt Zion with the Church of the Dormition by David Bomberg

Mt Zion with the Church of the Dormition

Sappers Under Hill 60 by David Bomberg

Sappers Under Hill 60

 

David Bomberg biography

David Bomberg was born in Birmingham in 1890, the fifth child in a Polish-Jewish immigrant family, but grew up in Whitechapel in the East End of London.

He initially trained as a lithographer and studied art in evening classes, but a grant from the Jewish Education Art Society enabled him to study at the Slade School of Art from 1911-13.

During this time, he painted a series of complex geometric works – most famously Mud Bath and In the Hold – combining the influence of Cubism and Futurism (the Futurists were fascinated by the dynamism of modern forms of machinery, transport and communication. One of their main interests was capturing a sense of movement in their works).

First World War

However, during World War l, Bomberg served on the Western front. His experience of the destructive power of machines at war and the death of his brother in the trenches destroyed his faith in the machine age. After the war, his painting became rounded and more representational.

Palestine and Spain

He spent four years in Palestine concentrating on landscape painting and later lived in Spain, developing a more vigorous style with looser brushwork. He was an official war artist during the Second World War.

After the war, he and his wife, artist Lilian Holt, founded the Borough Group (1948). He taught at the Borough Polytechnic, where his students included Frank Auerbach and Leon Kossoff. In 1954, he settled in Spain. David Bomberg died in 1957.