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‘Bomberg’s Relevance’ Exhibition

3 August 2007

Six students from the UCL Slade School of Fine Art will be taking part in an exhibition at the Ben Uri Gallery to mark the 50th anniversary of the death of artist David Bomberg (UCL Slade 1913). The exhibition, entitled ‘Bomberg’s Relevance’, will examine the painter’s artistic legacy and explore how contemporary artists respond to his practice.

Michael Ajerman (UCL Slade 2003), Sarah Lightman (UCL Slade 2001), Jane Millican (UCL Slade 2002), Gideon Rubin (UCL Slade 2002), Adriana Swierszczek (UCL Slade 2000) and Polly Townsend (UCL Slade 2001) have each been invited to create a piece of art in response to one of Bomberg’s works from the permanent collection at the Ben Uri Gallery.

Sarah Lightman has chosen to respond to Bomberg’s ‘At the Window’ in which a seated woman is shown staring out of an open window. Sarah, who makes “diary drawings” of her life, was moved by the sense of sadness and longing in Bomberg’s painting and felt the female figure corresponded to the autobiographical figure that often appears in her own work. “I feel a kinship to David Bomberg’s capacity to observe and describe the struggles of life” explains Sarah, who is also co-curating the exhibition.

Bomberg, the son of Polish-Jewish immigrants who settled in the East End of London, was disappointed at the lack of recognition his work achieved during his lifetime. However, his paintings now attract international interest following a major retrospective of his work held at the Tate in 1988. Sale prices of the artist’s work have soared in recent years, and in November 2006, Bomberg’s ‘Cuenca from Mount Socorro’ was sold at Christie’s for over £1m.

‘Bomberg’s Relevance’ will run from 12 August to 2 September 2007 at the Ben Uri Gallery, London Jewish Museum of Art, 108a Boundary Road, London NW8 0RH. There will be a talk and tour of the exhibition with Colin Wiggins (Deputy Head of Education, National Gallery) and the exhibiting artists on Sunday 19 August 2007 at 3pm.

A number of works by Bomberg are also held by UCL Art Collections, situated in the Strang Print Room, South Cloisters. To find out more about UCL Art Collections, the UCL Slade School of Fine Art or the Ben Uri Gallery, follow the links at the top of this article.

By Jenny Goepel (UCL Slade School of Fine Art)