Martin Bloch

Afternoon in Bangor

1952–4

Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 1270 x 914 mm
frame: 1390 x 1035 x 80 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by Mrs C. Bloch, the artist's widow 1966
Reference
T00883

Display caption

In 1934 Bloch, declared a 'degenerate artist' by the Nazi regime, fled Germany and set up an art school in London. In the early 1940s he became a close friend of the Polish émigré Josef Herman, also represented in this display, through whom he came to visit Wales on a number of occasions. To his Welsh scenes Bloch brought his characteristic high-keyed colour, inspired by French Fauvism, and concern with pictorial structure. Although his paintings are informative about the particulars of the landscape and the activities of the people shown, they often also convey the artist's strong feeling for the permanence or continuity of the scenes represented.

Gallery label, September 2004

Catalogue entry

Martin Bloch 1883–1954

T0883 Afternoon in Bangor 1952–54

Inscr. ‘Bloch/52’b.l. (second numeral ambiguous, but the artist’s widow thinks it must be 2).
Oil on canvas, 50 x 36 (127 x 91.5).
Presented by the artist’s widow 1966.
Exh. Beaux Arts Gallery, February–March 1955 (30, repr.); Arts Council Retrospective tour 1957, final centre South London Art Gallery, December 1957–January 1958 (41); Ben Uri Art Gallery, June 1963 (28); City Art Gallery, Bristol, October 1964 (33).

From 1950–54 the artist and his wife spent a few months each year at Bangor, where as well as landscapes Bloch painted Welsh slate miners (Arts Council Collection; National Museum of Wales, etc.). The present painting is of the view from the house of Professor Dodd (Professor of History in the University of Bangor), where Bloch was staying; the view slopes steeply downward in the foreground and up again steeply in the middle distance. The painting was begun in Professor Dodd’s home in 1952 and worked on over the next two years in both Bangor and London. Bloch started several paintings after this one but completed them earlier, as he was at work on this painting on the last day of his life.

Published in The Tate Gallery Report 1966–1967, London 1967.

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