John Davies

John Davies

John Davies PortraitJohn Davies was born in Cheshire in 1946. He studied painting at Hull and Manchester College of Art 1963–67, after which he spent two years at the Slade School of Fine Art, London. He was awarded a sculpture fellowship at Gloucester College of Art in 1989 and in the following year he won the Sainsbury award.

One of the few expressionist sculptors in 1980s Britain, Davies preferred to make sculpture and drawings that referred directly to the human figure, rather than abstract works. Early figures were often arranged in carefully positioned relationships, playing out silent drama through look and gesture, often in seemingly ritualistic poses. Davies’s figures are cast in part from life, imbuing them with an integral sense of humanity and have developed over time from grey–painted, almost morose existentialist figures to bright, lively, colourful works.

Davies typically makes small models or maquettes representing the human figure. In the late nineties, he introduced monumental heads to his practice. For Davies, the development of these extremes of scale provided new opportunities to explore how the human figure may be perceived and how one can relate to it differently. The minute figures with their intense detail endow the viewer with authority, as the figures are inspected. The large heads, with no less detail in their surface, reduce the viewer to a Lilliputian scale.
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