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LSBU loans Dorothy Mead’s Reclining Nude painting to Tate Britain

London South Bank University loans a painting by post-World War Two artist Dorothy Mead to Tate Britain’s landmark ‘All too Human’ exhibition
05 March 2018

London South Bank University (LSBU) is lending a distinctive 'Reclining Nude' oil painting by post-World War Two artist, Dorothy Mead, from the University’s David Bomberg Legacy collection to Tate Britain’s ‘All too Human’ landmark exhibition opening this month.

Mead's painting, which captures a female figure reclining with an open book, shows a vivid, visceral use of oil paint - a theme explored in Tate Britain’s new exhibition.

Post-war avant-garde artist David Bomberg taught Dorothy Mead at Borough Polytechnic long before the college became London South Bank University. 

A collection of Bomberg's paintings is still curated and held by the University in its Sarah Rose collection at the Borough Road Gallery, which opened in June 2012 with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The Sarah Rose collection consists of over 150 works spanning a period of nearly a century, centred on the practice and influence of David Bomberg, who is now widely considered to be one of the most significant British artists and teachers of the 20th Century. Bomberg taught at LSBU in the 1940s and 1950s.

David Bomberg’s famously experimental, modernist vision led students he taught, including Frank Auerbach and Leon Kossoff, to pursue a more tactile, embodied experience of life in the subject matters they chose to paint. For Kossoff and Auerbach, his influence emerged through their fixation on painting abstract London landscapes and street scenery. For Dorothy Mead, Bomberg’s inspiration came through in the way she attempted to capture the human form in paint, using broad brush strokes to render the figure more vividly.

Professor Janet Jones, Dean of LSBU’s School of Arts and the Creative Industries said: “It’s a real honour for LSBU to be asked to lend a painting from our Sarah Rose collection to such a high profile, landmark exhibition at Tate Britain.

“It is great to see the spotlight being placed firmly on Dorothy Mead’s often under-recognised work. It's wonderful to see her painting shown alongside modern British artists such as Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon who attempted to depict the human body in new, rawer forms.”

All Too Human: Bacon, Freud and a Century of Painting Life showcases around 100 works by some of the most celebrated modern British artists, with Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon at its heart.