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.