The Nine British Art is delighted to announce that our second exhibition of Leigh Davis’ vibrant abstract paintings and sculptures, Further Into Abstraction, will be our opening show.
Davis, whose practice came to international prominence after his 2018 show at Nine British Art, A New Direction, has produced a timely collection of vivid and expressive new work which, while not an overt reflection of the momentous times in which we live, is certainly a ruminative and moving product of a period in which his gaze turned inward.
“This isn’t a body of work specifically about the various lockdowns we’ve been living under, but a consequence of it,” reveals Davis, referring to the way his working environment has adapted as he spent more time in his new studio in the corner of a Staffordshire walled garden. That meant his initial sources of inspiration - coastlines, abandoned mining structures, harbours, dilapidated boats - became increasingly distant in his mind.
“Being removed from those places made me focus a lot more on composition, colour and mark marking,” he says, and there’s a new purpose and energy to the paintings. The fluid themes and forms within these disparate landscapes have become combined in memory to evoke deeper feelings and emotions, rather than become distinct representations of specific places.
Davis’ sculptural work, too, has evolved as some of the material he used to make the castings that were so impressive in A New Direction became less accessible. Bostalek is probably his boldest sculptural statement to date, which instead uses found objects such as antique Meccano, wood from the carriage of an old van, offcuts sourced from a cabinet-maker friend, an old railway sleeper. “It made me more creative, more adventurous,” he says of his series of assemblages. “I was constantly picking up materials and thinking about composition, about the energy and tension in these sculptures.”
So despite chronicling a year of solitude and isolation, Further Into Abstraction is full of vivacity and fresh ideas, a refinement of Davis’ gaze which confirms him as one of our most thoughtful and exciting contemporary artists.
We look forward to seeing you in the gallery.
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday, 11am - 5pm (7pm Wednesdays)
Contact us for home/late viewing - firstname.lastname@example.org