Three Ovals, 1962
Signed and dated lower right
Pastel on paper
9 7/8 x 7 7/8 in, 25 x 20 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.
Three Ovals is characteristic of Bornfriend’s later experimentations with abstraction. In this drawing Bornfriend extracts shapes from the tangible and visible world around him, creating a unity of simplified forms in ambiguous space. As a more mature work, Three Ovals reveals 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