FURTHER INTO ABSTRACTION OPENING SPRING 2021
The Nine British Art is proud to announce our second exhibition of Leigh Davis’ vibrant abstract paintings and sculptures will be on view this spring.
Davis, whose practice came to international prominence after his 2018 show at The Nine British Art, A New Perspective, 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 is a new purpose and energy to paintings such as Harbour Wall Mousehole and Blyth Moorings. 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 Perspective became less accessible. Bostalek (Botallack, Cornwall) 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 these 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.
Full exhibition dates will be confirmed shortly when the national restrictions ease, along with the publication date of an exhibition catalogue from award-winning designer Alan Ward. Please get in touch if you would like a preview of this exclusive work and would like to join the mailing list.