Figure with Irises, 1961
Signed and dated lower left 'J. Bornfriend 61'
Oil on canvas
20 x 40 in, 50.8 x 101.6 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.
Figure with irises is characteristic of the way in which Bornfriend embraced a style of abstraction born out of a framework of figurative references. In this painting the silhouette of the figure can be read amidst the harmonious intersection of shapes and colours. The sweeping blocks of paint provide form to the work without allowing for any distinct boundaries to be made.
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.
W Wingate and Johnston Fine Art Limited, London (no. 41)
Roland, Browse and Delbanco, London
The Roland Collection, UK
New York, The Jewish Museum, The Immigrant Generations: Jewish Art in Britain 1900-1945, 24th May - 25th September 1983
Bury St Edmunds Gallery (label verso)