Signed lower right
Pastel and crayon on paper
13 5/8 x 9 7/8 in, 34.5 x 25 cm
Born in Zborov in 1904, Jacob Bornfriend was part of a significant group of emigré artists who fled Nazi-occupied Europe and settled in the UK. Early in his career Bornfriend...
Born in Zborov in 1904, Jacob Bornfriend was part of a significant group of emigré artists who fled Nazi-occupied Europe and settled in the UK. Early in his career Bornfriend based his work on the folk-art of his homeland, Czechoslovakia, and the European surrealist tradition. However, after arriving in England in 1939 his style changed, creating a dialogue between his works and those of the British Abstractionists, including Patrick Heron and Peter Lanyon. By using rhythmic patterns, he conveyed a sense of energy and captured the "the dynamism of abundance" he perceived in the British landscape and its changing seasons.
Composition is characteristic of Bornfriend’s later experimentations with abstraction. This expressive image can be read as an exploration into colour, in which Bornfriend achieves an emotional intensity through juxtaposing warm and cool tones. In Composition the rich blocks of deep red are contrasted against the dense black and vivid yellow. There is a buoyancy of spirit and a romantic mystical mood to this composition, revealing just why Bornfriend’s lyrical abstraction had a significant impact upon Modern British Art.
Jacob Bornfriend’s work are held in numerous public collections internationally, such as Tate Collection, London, Southampton City Art Gallery, Southampton, Leeds Art Gallery, Leeds, University of Oxford, Oxford, and Prague National Gallery, Prague.
The Estate of Jacob Bornfriend
'Art Beyond Exile: Josef Herman, Peter Potworowski, Jacob Bornfriend in Britain', Connaught Brown, London, 3 - 24 December 2013