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Jack Bilbo Exhibition

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by Bastion Harrison (subscribe)
Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from
Event: -
'The State is a Heartless Machine'

Bilbo: author, adventurer, and dragon slayer...oh wait, wrong Bilbo.

From the description, you might think I was referring to J.R.R. Tolkien's Bilbo Baggins, and indeed, the man's self-portrait does bear strong resemblance to a Hobbit. But no, I am actually talking about Jack Bilbo, who also just happened to an author and adventurer. He was also a self-taught artist, psychologist, and 'Modernist Fighter for Humanity'.

The 1907 Berlin-born Jew was forced to flea Germany in 1933 after campaigning against the Nazis. Bilbo eventually settled in London, where he founded the Modern Art Gallery in 1941, where he showcased work by Picasso, Schwitters, and unknown artists.

Bilbo was an artist himself, and the David Zwirner Gallery is currently exhibiting a retrospective of the the man's forty-year career. Primarily an ink artist, Bilbo's drawings use dark humour to convey political messages. For example, the 'Hobbit' self-portrait is in fact a depiction of himself as a vagabond in tattered clothing, stating 'I Don't Like Private Capitalism, I Don't Like State Capitalism—I Do Like My Own Capitalism.' His work can be seen on display until the 4th October.
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Why? Fun for art lovers
When: Until 24th Oct
Phone: 44 203 538 3165
Where: David Zwirner Gallery
Cost: Free
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