|David Bomberg, In The Hold, 1913-14, Tate, London|
David Bomberg (1891 - 1957) was a British artist, a student of the Slade School of Art and a member of the 'Whitechapel Boys'. This cubist-influenced painting was made before the First World War, and like so many others, when he returned from war his outlook and style changed.
In this picture he has retained the lines from where he had squared up his preliminary work leaving a grid of cubist-type patterning and has dissolved the image into fragments.. However the work is not abstract; left of centre a figure in blue can be clearly seen working in the hold of a ship in London docks and lower-right a ladder can be observed leading out of the hold. You have to work to see it!
There is actually a cross depicted in every single square and strong diagonals in both directions across the whole surface. In fact the longer I look at this painting the more things I see. It's a monumental piece - more than six feet along each edge.
The Whitechapel Boys were a group of Jewish artists in the East End of London during the first quarter of the twentieth century, a place of ever-changing immigrant populations. A remarkable group of artists and writers emerged from the group which included Mark Gertler.
David Bomberg: Two self-portraits and a photographI am listening to Linda Ronstadt's version of Neil Young's Birds. It's a lovely song which I always seem to prefer sung by a female vocalist. There is a delicate vulnerable version by the English singer Kathryn Williams here.
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