Born into an impoverished family in Birmingham, David Bomberg rose to become a leading painter of his generation, and one of the Whitechapel Boys group. Starting his career in 1905 as an apprentice lithographer, he attended the Slade School of Art from 1911-1913, and was a pupil of both Walter Richard Sickert and Henry Tonks.
He was part of an ‘exceptional generation,’ at the Slade, his contemporaries included Mark Gertler, Stanley Spencer, Paul Nash, and Dora Carrington. He was expelled from the Slade in 1913, apparently because of the audacity of his move from conventional approaches to painting. He was loosely affiliated with various avant-garde groups in London, including Roger Fry’s Omega Workshops, and the Camden Town Group, but his angular, bombastic, violent imagery in the two years leading up the First World War show his closeness to Wyndham Lewis’s Vorticist Group, with whom he exhibited in 1915. From this early meteoric rise, he disappeared from the forefront of the art world for a considerable period, returning to full prominence only with his 1988 retrospective at Tate. He is now universally viewed as one of the most innovative and influential artists of his time.
1890 Born 5 December in Birmingham to Polish-Jewish parents.
1895 Family moves to Whitechapel, London.
1906-7 Becomes apprentice to lithographer Paul Fischer in Islington and starts attending evening
classes at the City and Guilds institute.
1908 Attends evening classes at Westminster School of Art and at Central School of Arts and Crafts.
He does so until 1910.
1911 Accepted at Slade School of Art, London with a grant from Jewish Educational Society (JEAS).
Classmates include Pail Nash, Mark Gertler, Stanley Spencer, Edward Wadsworth and Isaac
1912 Sudden death of his mother, Rebecca, aged 48 on 2 October.
1913 Wins prize at Slade for a drawing of Isaac Rosenberg, Head of a Poet.
1913 Travels to Paris and meets artists including Picasso, Derain, Modigliani and Kisling.
1915-1918 Enlisted in the Royal Engineers. He was sent to Front in 1916 – unable to paint he writes
1916 Marries Alice Mayes.
1919 Exhibits work at London Group exhibition, [part of a series of watercolours based on his war
1923 Settles in Jerusalem.
1924 Travels twice to Petra.
1927 Bomberg separates from wife Alice and returns to London.
1929 Visits Spain for the first time and stays in Toledo, near Madrid.
1930 Returns to London and visits Morocco and the Greek Islands.
1932 Travels on an expedition with painter Lillian Holt to Scotland and Derbeyshire.
1933 Joins the Communist Party. Travels to Russia for 6 months, disenchanted, he leaves upon his
return to London.
1934-35 Spends 18 months in Cuenca, Ronda and Linares, Spain with Lilian, her daughter Dinora
and their new-born daughter, Diana.
1941 Marries Lilian Holt on 16 September.
1945 Starts to teach part-time at Borough Polytechnic.
1946 Paints in Devon with Lilian.
1947 Formation of the Borough Group by former students of Bomberg with Bomberg himself as
1948 Family painting trip to Cyprus from July – September.
Third and final exhibition of the Borough Group. The group dissolves in 1951.
1954 Returns to Ronda, Spain, with Lilian.
1957 Becomes terminally ill and hospitalised for 3 months in Gibraltar.
1957 Returns to London but dies at St Thomas’ Hospital, London, 19 August.
1914 Chenil Gallery, London, Works by David Bomberg
1919 Adelphi Gallery, London, Ink-wash drawings
1923 Heal’s Mansard Gallery, London, Pen-and-wash drawings
1928 Leicester Galleries, London, Paintings of Palestine and Petra
1929 Ruskin Gallery, Birmingham, Paintings of Palestine and Petra
1932 Bloomsbury Gallery, London, Sixty Imaginative Compositions, Spanish and Scottish Landscapes
1936 Cooling Galleries, London, Recent Paintings of Spain
1937 Foyle Art Gallery, London, Paintings and Drawings by David Bomberg
1943 Leger Gallery, London, Exhibition of Imaginative Compositions
1956 Arts Council Tour, David Bomberg 1890-1957: An exhibition of Paintings and Drawings
1960 Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry, David Bomberg 1890-1957: An exhibition of Paintings and Drawings
1961 Hope Hall, Liverpool, David Bomberg
1964 Marlborough Fine Art Ltd, London, David Bomberg 1890-1957: Paintings and Watercolours
1971 Reading Museum and Art Gallery, Paintings and Drawings by David Bomberg
1973 Fischer Fine Art Ltd, London, Bomberg: Paintings, Drawings, Watercolours and Lithographs
1979 The Whitechapel Gallery, London, David Bomberg: The Later Years
1980 Campbell & Franks Fine Arts, David Bomberg; Lilian Holt; Leslie Marr: Paintings and Drawings
1980 City Art Gallery, Southampton, Bomberg and his Friends
1981 Ben Uri, London, David Bomberg and Family – an Exhibition of Paintings and Drawings
1981 Anthony d’Offay, London, David Bomberg: Works from the Collection of Lilian Bomberg
1983 Israel Museum, Jerusalem, David Bomberg in Palestine, 1923-1927
1983-1984 Ben Uri, London, David Bomberg in the Holy Land, 1923-1927
1985 Bernard Jacobson Gallery, New York, Bomberg: The Late Drawings
1985 Fischer Fine Art, London, David Bomberg. 1890-1957: A Tribute to Lilian Bomberg
1986 Bury Street Gallery, London, David Bomberg the Teacher: A Retrospective Exhibition of Work of the Members of the Borough Group and Bottega
1988 Bernard Jacobson Gallery, London, David Bomberg: A Great British Artist
1988 Tate Gallery, London, David Bomberg
1988 Fischer Fine Art Ltd, London, Bomberg: An Exhibition of Major Paintings and Drawings
1988 Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, Bomberg Studies: The Working Method
1990 Bernard Jacobson Gallery, London, David Bomberg: Modern British Masters, Volume II
1990 Modernism Gallery, San Francisco, David Bomberg 1912-1935
1990-1991 Gillian Jason Gallery, London David Bomberg 1890-1957: Centenary Exhibition – Works on Paper
1992 Gillian Jason Gallery, London, David Bomberg: Poems and Drawings from the First World War
2004 Museo Joaquin Peinado, Ronda, Spain, David Bomberg en Ronda
2006 Abbot Hall Gallery, Kendal, The Spirit in the Mass
2007 Daniel Katz Gallery, London, In Celebration of David Bomberg 1890-1957
2013 Waterhouse and Dodd, London, David Bomberg: Works on Paper from the Collection of Natalie Tachuk
2013-2014 Borough Gallery, London, David Bomberg: Objects of Collection
2016 Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne, David Bomberg: Landscapes
2017-2018 Pallant House Gallery, Chichester; Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle; Ben Uri, London Bomberg
2018 Beaux Arts, London