Sunday, January 27, 2008

Vision of Ezekiel

David Bomberg 1890-1957
Vision of Ezekiel 1912
Oil on canvas
support: 1143 x 1372 mm frame: 1203 x 1435 x 68 mm
Tate Gallery, London

Bomberg was closely associated with the Vorticist group in London but was never officially a member of the Vorticist Group. Indeed he resisted attempts to enlist him as a member of the movement

The subject is taken from the Old Testament and illustrates the occasion when God guided the prophet to a valley full of bones and commanded him to speak. 'There was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together.'

The brilliant colours emphasise the exultation associated with resurrection.

Note the sense of struggle between the figures

Bomberg may have chosen this text after the sudden death of his mother.

Bomberg painted a series of complex geometric compositions combining the influences of cubism and futurism in the years immediately preceding World War I

His faith in the machine age shaken by the trauma of serving on the Western Front as a sapper in the trenches, Bomberg moved to a more representational style in the 1920s and his work became increasingly dominated by portraits and landscapes drawn from nature

Bomberg was an influential teacher at the Borough Polytechnic, London. His students included Frank Auerbach and Leon Kossoff.

His last years were darkened by the realisation that his art remained overlooked and even belittled in Britain. Bomberg always avoided groups and movements but at the same time persisted in developing ''a form of painting that lay far outside the mainstream of British art."