Brian Hunter

Brian Hunter

Posted on 08/15/2013

Photo taken on August 15, 2013

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Bomberg in the Hold

Bomberg in the Hold
The Dulwich Picture Gallery is hosting an exhibition which is in effect the show of the book- the book being David Boyd Haycock's "A Crisis of Brilliance", which focuses on the lives of six British artists- Stanley Spencer, David Bomberg, Mark Gertler, Dora Carrington, Richard Nevinson and Paul Nash- all of whom were at the Slade School of Art just before the First World War. In part it's also the story of the complexities of British engagement with modernist art. Despite the best efforts of the Slade, all six in very different ways became part of the fissiparous and quarrelsome art world in London and beyond. In this piece Bomberg comes up with something which wouldn't have looked out of place in Italian Futurism with its strong colours and extreme fragmentation of image. Bomberg, however, was linked to Vorticism, which was an English counterblast to Futurism. It's very hard to explain the differences between the two in artistic terms - it was more amtter of whether one pulled the forelock to F T Marinetti or Wyndham Lewis.

For what it's worth, the subject matter relates to Jewish immigrants tumbling out of the hold of a ship which has just docked in London; it's a little easier to make sense of when one sees the preparatory drawings