This post comes with a note to self: When the Tate magazine comes through the post, read it straight away, otherwise you might miss something wonderful.
I almost missed an exhibition of some of Bomberg's works at Waterhouse and Dodd in Mayfair. Entitled 'Borough', this exhibition has bought together works by Bomberg and his students from the Borough Group.
There were two magnificent landscapes (at magnificent prices!) and the cover painting is 'Farm by the Sea' which is one of several canvases Bomberg did on a six week trip to Cornwall. I saw one in the summer holidays which was stunning and this one came close to it in terms of drama. Bomberg prefered to paint in the evenings and the sunsets he painted are fiery and brooding, and certainly not what you would expect from Cornwall.
The work that I would have loved to own and sell my house for, was a charcoal drawing from 1913 entitled 'Family Bereavement'. Worked in his abstract style, you could see the grief pouring out of these people as they surround the deathbed of a loved one. The figurative version of this work, on the left, is held by The Tate and putting them side by side, you can see how Bomberg could capture the physical reaction to death. According to the Tate's notes, this was inspired by the unexpected death of his mother, and that Bomberg did several versions of this work over the years. He would always keep a copy on an easle so he could return to it.
In need of more Bomberg, I went over to Tate Britain to visit with Mud Bath, and to take some time with two works he created during WWII called 'Bomb Store'.
With these, you can really get up close to see his rapid and expansive brushstrokes combined with the small detail of the bombs. Bomberg had been unsuccessful in his applications to join the War Artists Advisory Committee and he was finally, if begrudgingly allowed to paint the Burton-on-Trent bomb store which was a disued mine. These works were rejected by the committee -shame on them!
As I continue to find more Bombergs, The more I admire this particular artist. Underrated in his own lifetime, it does feel that he is finally getting the recognition he deserves.