Ifever there was a case ofan artist doing the right thing at the wrong time David Bomberg was it. Now generally regarded as one ofthe major figures in British 20th century avant garde art, he died in abject poverty in 1957, aged just 67, after a career in which he had painted cubo-futurist abstractions quite unlike anyone else, before (and just after) the First World War. He followed that with a lyrical, expressive landscape style between the wars – contra the prevailing avant garde tendency towards extreme abstraction – and then proved equally out ofsync after World War II too, being shunned by the art school establishment, not to mention the Arts and British Councils as well. His reaction to this final setback was to start teaching in a disused bakery school at Borough Polytechnic, his self-styled ‘Borough Group’ proving, over time, arguably one ofthe more significant and influential of the immediate post-war teaching establishments – the stellar careers ofmajor contemporary figures like Auerbach and Kossoff, among many others, being almost unthinkable without his example. His posthumous career, meanwhile, has proved no less erratic: it took until 1988 – over 30 years after his death – and the simultaneous publication of Richard Cork’s book on him along with a Tate retrospective, for his reputation to start gathering real momentum. Even then it has been slow-ish going as the splendid current show ofhis work at Waterhouse & Dodd makes intriguingly evident. All drawn from one substantial private collection and focussing powerfully on the more angular and geometric elements in his work – including some from the ferocious ‘Bomb Store’ series c1942 – they were all bought in one 10 year period (1995-2005) when his market price was still, quite inexplicably, somewhat depressed. It is a powerful, concentrated take on Bomberg’s extraordinary artistic vision, all the more remarkable for being put back on the market via a private dealer rather than through the salerooms. Meanwhile in Chichester, Pallant House Gallery has teamed up with the Ben Uri Gallery and co-curators Sarah MacDougall and Rachel Dickson, to produce a full on retrospective, some 70 pieces strong and with major loans from public and private collections. 60 years after his death, David Bomberg’s reputation has never been higher. By making this year’s home in the Bargehouse at Oxo Tower Wharf – the highly atmospheric, undeveloped four storey building next door to the Oxo Tower on the South Bank – NOA’s 21st National Open Art Competition is making a big and ambitious statement of intent. This is a distinctly assertive piece ofarchitecture internally, one that requires plenty ofstrong work to fill the space. On the evidence ofpast NOA shows and the range and quality ofthe work, not to mention the impressive team ofselectors – Hughie O’Donoghue among them – this shouldn’t present a problem. It is aided, furthermore, by the broad range ofmedia now included – photography, moving image, digital art and wall hung installations – wider than many open exhibitions. With all her artistic training taking place in Scarborough and having lived and worked since on the North Yorkshire coast, Janine Baldwin’s landscapes are, understandably, very much rooted in the place. For all that though they are in fact very broad ranging indeed in their terms of reference, with de Kooning and Cy Twombly cited as influences along with Joan Eardley and the Cornish painters. Her latest, impressive show of drawings and pastels at Birch Tree Gallery makes it clear that a very distinct voice is emerging here. This may well have something to do with her recent concentration on pastels and charcoals rather than painting as R OUND-UP 8 GALLERIES NOVEMBER 2017 A wkward squad House open Scarborough fair