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The Outsider Genius: David Bomberg’s Self-Portraits

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One of eleven children born to a family of Polish-Jewish immigrants, the young David Bomberg hoped that his artistic talent and Slade training would be a ticket out of poverty. In spite of his extraordinary abilities, his engagement with many of the artistic movements of the early 20^th^century, and the legacy he left to British art, this proved tragically not to be the case.

The art historian Richard Cork has dedicated years of his career to demonstrating why Bomberg deserves to be considered alongside Britain's greatest Modernist painters. In recent years, the artist's reputation is finally receiving due acclaim. In this talk, Cork examines the astonishing power of Bomberg's portraits to transport us into his inner world. In a sense, they constitute a biography of the artist which no critic in Bomberg's lifetime was willing to write.

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Richard Cork is an award-winning art critic, historian, broadcaster and exhibition curator. In 1969 he was appointed Art Critic of the Evening Standard, and then became Chief Art Critic of The Times, Slade Professor of Fine Art at Cambridge University and Henry Moore Senior Fellow at the Courtauld Institute. He has acted as a judge for the Turner Prize and curated major exhibitions at Tate, the Hayward Gallery, the Royal Academy, the Barbican Art Gallery and other European venues. He broadcasts regularly on the BBC, and was appointed an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Academy in 2011.

Cork's many books include a ground-breaking study of Vorticism, awarded the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize in 1977; Art Beyond the Gallery, winner of the Banister Fletcher Award in 1986; a major monograph on David Bomberg*in 1987; *A Bitter Truth: Avant-Garde Art and the Great War, winner of The Art Fund Award in 1995; four acclaimed volumes of his critical writings on modern art, in 2003; Michael Craig-Martin*in 2006; *Wild Thing: Epstein, Gaudier-Brzeska, Gill*in 2009; *The Healing Presence of Art, a pioneering history of western art in hospitals from the Renaissance to the 20th century, 2012; and Face to Face: Interviews with Artists, published in 2015. He is now curating an exhibition at the National Gallery exploring David Bomberg's youthful response to the Old Masters. It will open on 27 November 2019.

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