Teaching Integrity, with Kate Aspinall
David Bomberg famously proclaimed that art could not be taught, and yet he did teach.
His approach, often called the search for ‘the spirit in the mass’, became a rallying cry to meld self, subject and art. It went far beyond a mere process of creation to become instead a sense of personal integrity known through artistic expression.
For eight years Bomberg’s teaching moulded the artistic consciousness of some of the most dynamic personalities in the rising post-war generation, including Dennis Creffield, Gustav Metzger, Leon Kossoff and Frank Auerbach, among many others.
His students, alone or in exhibiting collectives, became the visible icons of a ‘school of thick paint’ that challenged the divide between the critical camps of figuration and abstraction.
This talk will explore the details of Bomberg’s instruction and the various ways he influenced the practices of canonical figures in British 20th century art.
Kate Aspinall is an independent historian, writer, and artist. Based in London, her research looks to the role of drawing in early 20th century British visual culture with a particular emphasis on the intersections between institutional and personal discipline.
She is currently working on a monograph, The Paradox of Medium Specificity: Drawing Practice and Twentieth Century Modernism in Britain, and most recently she wrote an article on the role of the drawn mark within Herbert Read’s critical agenda for a special issue of Visual Resources (February 2016). She consults for the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation and serves as Chairwoman of the AAH Freelance and Independents.