phil davies

Like the great masters of this tradition, Poussin, David, Ingres and Picasso, Davies is a skilful exponent of pictorial theatre. In fact, he describes his practice as of someone who writes the play, directs the actors, designs and makes the props and lights the stage, a highly unusual definition of painting but entirely appropriate as Davies is an unusual painter. He believes that mystery can be a potent force in a painted image, that the sense of painting should emerge slowly. He believes that paintings should have undercurrents as well as surface currents. He believes in ambiguity and in the tension generated by opposites.

Like the great masters of this tradition, Poussin, David, Ingres and Picasso, Davies is a skilful exponent of pictorial theatre. In fact, he describes his practice as of someone who writes the play, directs the actors, designs and makes the props and lights the stage, a highly unusual definition of painting but entirely appropriate as Davies is an unusual painter. He believes that mystery can be a potent force in a painted image, that the sense of painting should emerge slowly. He believes that paintings should have undercurrents as well as surface currents. He believes in ambiguity and in the tension generated by opposites.

'Davies has said that surface and facility are the enemy in his recent work. We are not to enjoy the manner of the painting but to see through the surface to the place beneath. The paintings are not a representation of reality but of another fictional world of theatre and metaphor, artifice and illusion. There is a parallel in the shallow pictorial space, luminous colour and static composition with the painting of the Middle Ages; still, calm, and knowing, in the face of uncertainty, ignorance, pestilence and death. We may be less ignorant now but we are no more certain of the future. We continue the relentless pursuit of knowledge but already we many know too much'  

 Kit Allsopp

 

 

 

Biography:

1953 Born Pudsey West Yorkshire
1972-75 Loughborough College of Art Design (BA painting)
1978-81 Royal College Art (MA painting)
1987-98 Christopher Hull Gallery, London

1978 John Moores 10
1986 First prize winner . Royal Overseas competition.
1986 JohnMoores 15
1996-2006 Six Chapel Row Bath.
 

Mixed exhibitions:
Galerie zur alten deutschen Schule, Thun, Switzerland.
Beaux Arts Gallery Bath
The Bruton Street Gallery London
Cooling Gallery Cork Street London
Figure of Eight Gallery London

Solo exhibition
The Brewhouse  Taunton Somerset 2018

Teaching:
1986- 2006 Visual research senior lecturer Design School Brighton University