Born in Birmingham of Polish-Jewish immigrant parents, he was
brought up in London. He was apprenticed to a lithographer,
and went to night classes constructed by Walter Bayes at the
City and Guilds Institute. He broke his identures in order to
attend evening classes at the Westminster School of Art under
Sickert and with Lethaby at the Central Scohol. The Jewish Educational
Aid Society enabled him to go to the Slade 1911-13, winning
the Tonks Prize for a drawing of fellow student Isaac Rosenberg.
Paris with Jacob Epstein in 1913, meeting Picasso, Derain, Modigliani
member of the London Group, his first one-man show was at the
Chenil Gallery in 1914: The Mud Bath and In the Hold, two highly
abstracted, radically geometricized pictures, aroused much interest
and praise from Fry, Hulme and others. Although his approach
was very close to that of the Vorticists, with whom he exhibited
in 1915, he avoided any formal connection with them.
was in the army 1915-9 serving at the Front in 1916 (the year
in which he married), and, following the submission of cubist
studies which were rejected, he pained and austerely realistic
picture (Sappers at Work, 1918-19) for the Canadian War Records
Office. He wrote some poetry, affected by the death in action
of his brother. His artistic reputation remained high after
the war but he Sorry - this work is sold little and suffered acute financial hardship.
in Hampshire, 1920-22, gradually modifying his radically geometric
approach to form, and then, helped by Muirhead Bone, worked
for the Zionist Organisation in Palestine, 1923-7. On his return,
his meticulously detailed realistic studies and more thickly
painted free sketches were received with critical acclaim but
hardly Sorry - this work is sold.
1930, he travelled widely (USSR, Morocco and Greece, staying
in Spain 1934-5) with Lilian Holt, who was to become his second
wife. During the Second World War he became an official war
artist and began teaching part time, most notably at the Borough
Polytechnic, 1945-53. With his pupils there he formed The Borough
Group, 1947-9 and the Borough Bottega in 1953. In 1954 he moved
to Spain, where he remained until he fell ill and was brought
back to London via Gibraltar.
later powerful, thickly painted oils strongly influenced such
pupils as Auerbach, Kossoff and Creffield. Bomberg's work is
held in inumerable private and public collections throughout
David Bomberg, William Lipke, Evelyn Adams & Mackay 1967
David Bomberg, Richard Cork, Yale, 1987