Art: Private View - David Bomberg Bernard Jacobson Gallery, London W1

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The Independent Culture
In the years immediately before the First World War David Bomberg was, briefly, one of the most exciting and determinedly modern artists of his time. Take, for example, the Tate Gallery's Mud Bath - a series of blue and white lines running and jumping around the edge of a rectangular, red pool. It was painted some months before the war began, but with hindsight looks prophetic: the mud bath a blood bath - the red, white and blue of the national flag blown apart into a jagged, dance of death.

The current show at the Bernard Jacobson Gallery concentrates on Bomberg the landscape painter, whose technique became increasingly expressionistic as the years went by, culminating in a style marked by great swathes of paint that build to a glowering vision of the world made of long strokes of pure colour.

Writing in 1964 the critic David Sylvester suggested two reasons for believing that David Bomberg was the finest English painter of the century: "his early work and his late work". I wouldn't go quite that far, but, certainly, in the best of the later works at the Jacobson Gallery one can see the strength of his legacy - one that has influenced the work of painters such as Leon Kossoff and Frank Auerbach.

David Bomberg, Bernard Jacobson Gallery, 14a Clifford Street, London W1 (0171-495 8575)

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