Publisher Ben Uri (2015) 172pp Paperback
Rachel Dickson and Sarah MacDougall
Ben Uri: 100 Years in London represents a distinct visual survey of artistic and social life in Britain and the cultural heritage of British Jewry. Drawing on highlights from Ben Uri’s usually hidden collection of artworks and recently accessed archive material, it offers a unique view of ‘Art, Identity and Migration’ during the last 100 years via a remarkable range of artists, many of whom contributed to the shaping of modern British, European and American art history.
Beautifully illustrated texts by international contributors provide a breadth of fascinating contexts ranging from an introduction to Jewish museums and collections; Jewish migration to Britain at the end of the nineteenth century; twentieth-century Yiddish culture in London; the rise of the Anglo-Jewish modernist ‘Whitechapel Boys’; their French counterparts, Les Peintres Juifs de L’Ecole de Paris; the incalculable contribution to arts in Britain by mid-century émigrés escaping National Socialism; and Ben Uri’s identity during this era; the infl uential group of later artists who include Michael Andrews, Frank Auerbach, Lucian Freud, R. B. Kitaj and Leon Kossoff .
The publication culminates with a review of Ben Uri’s unique position and future trajectory.
Complementing the texts are many images drawn from Ben Uri’s collection and archives. Featured artists include Whitechapel Boys David Bomberg, Mark Gertler, Bernard Meninsky and Jacob Kramer, First World War oet-painter, Isaac Rosenberg, and the only ‘Whitechapel Girl’ Clare Winsten.
Further women artists of note include Lily Delissa Joseph, Sonia Delaunay, Else Meidner and Margaret Marks. Les Peintres Juifs de L’Ecole de Paris are represented by Boris Aronson, Marc Chagall and Jacques Lipschitz; and artists in exile in Britain, c.1933-45 include Ludwig Meidner, Erich Kahn, Josef Herman, cartoonist Victor ‘Vicky’ Weisz, and Arthur Segal.
As Ben Uri moves into its second century in the heart of London, this publication provides a rare glimpse into a distinctive and visually-compelling world-class collection and its remarkable history, under the powerfully topical banner of ‘Art Identity Migration’.