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LSBU in BBC art documentary marking WWI centenary

London South Bank University's Borough Road Gallery is featured in BBC Four's British Art at War series airing this Sunday at 9pm, documenting the life and work of British painter David Bomberg
25 September 2014

Hosted by Andrew Graham-Dixon, the three-part series explores the work and experiences of artists who lived through the First World War. Sunday's episode focuses on painter David Bomberg, who taught at LSBU and is regarded as one of the twentieth century's most significant British painters and art teachers.

Opened in 2012 with funding by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Borough Road Gallery's collection, A David Bomberg Legacy – The Sarah Rose Collection, includes work spanning nearly the whole of Bomberg's career, including work such as Bomb Store (1942) and Self Portrait (1956).

Bomberg rose to prominence in the early twentieth century, when his geometric style was associated with the Vorticist Group. After the First World War, he abandoned this approach in favour of closely studying nature. For the rest of his career he developed an expressive, energetic style that strived to articulate 'the spirit in the mass'.

Bomberg taught at LSBU, then Borough Polytechnic Institute, during the 1940s and 50s, where his students included celebrated artists Frank Auerbach, Leon Kossoff, and Gustav Metzger as well as those who became known as the 'Borough Group'.

"Bomberg's influence on his students is legendary and his work still serves as an inspiration for many contemporary artists," explains Rachel Fleming-Mulford, Curator of the Borough Road Gallery.

Interest in Bomberg has seen a resurgence in the last  year with Dulwich Picture Gallery and Ben Uri Museum of Art, Identity and Migration both featuring him in exhibitions. Borough Road Gallery recently held a solo show of Bomberg's work, 'Objects of Collection', the timing of which marked one-hundred years since his first solo exhibition.

Part of LSBU's School of Arts and Creative Industries, Borough Road Gallery's A David Bomberg Legacy – The Sarah Rose Collection has been built up over 30 years by independent collector Sarah Rose, who aims to draw attention to Bomberg's teachings and to the artists who worked with him. Always intended for the public domain, Sarah placed the collection in Trust at LSBU in 2008.

"Sarah's gift has not only made these important artworks accessible but provided a starting point for creative responses and new research," says Fleming-Mulford. "This documentary draws further attention to, and sheds new light on, of Bomberg's significant contribution to British art, both as an artist and an art teacher."

'British Art at War' airs Sunday 28 September 2014 at 9pm on BBC Four.

Learn more about LSBU's Borough Road Gallery