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Born in Cheshire. Studied at Hull and Manchester Colleges of Art 1963-67, and was awarded a Sculpture Fellowship at Gloucester College of Art in 1969. His sculptural oeuvre has centred on the human figure, with a particular focus on the human head, and using a variety of different media. This focus was particularly prominent in his early work, with his quasi-portrait heads executed in painted resin or fibreglass, with the addition of elements of cloth, wood, metal or stone dust. Occasional cast in bronze were either unique of in editions of up to 3 casts. Echoing Giacometti’s development in his figurative work, Davies’ heads varied in size from less than 2 inches, to 42 inches, or even larger.

While on his sculptural fellowship in 1969-70, he made a life-size clothed figure – in fact a self-portrait – which he said was an attempt “to make a figure, not like a piece of sculpture, more like a person…. I wanted my sculpture to be more like life in the street”. This gradually led to a larger number of life-size standing, clothed figures, sometimes single, sometimes in groups, occasionally with masked faces. To both the life-size and the miniature figures he began to add movement in the 1980s, suggesting interaction: embracing, kneeling, exercising: more frequently, represented naked, their surfaces textured with incising or scraping tools.   The exercises became more athletic - climbing ladders and ropes - the gestures more emotion-laden, expressing fear or surprise. And throughout, his sculptural oeuvre has run in parallel with drawings and studies, which may precede, or proceed from, the sculptures themselves.

Significantly, his first two solo exhibition have been in public galleries, both at the Whitechapel Gallery (1972 and 1975), later a touring exhibition in Germany, to museums in Duisburg, Karlsruhe and Hamburg (1980-81). Robert and Lisa Sainsbury had been among his earliest collectors, and the Sainsbury Centre in Norwich held a major exhibition in 1985. He has also been admired in Spain, with museum exhibitions in Murcia (1995), Bilbao and Valencia (2004).

 

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Biography

Exhibitions

View available artworks

Born in Cheshire. Studied at Hull and Manchester Colleges of Art 1963-67, and was awarded a Sculpture Fellowship at Gloucester College of Art in 1969. His sculptural oeuvre has centred on the human figure, with a particular focus on the human head, and using a variety of different media. This focus was particularly prominent in his early work, with his quasi-portrait heads executed in painted resin or fibreglass, with the addition of elements of cloth, wood, metal or stone dust. Occasional cast in bronze were either unique of in editions of up to 3 casts. Echoing Giacometti’s development in his figurative work, Davies’ heads varied in size from less than 2 inches, to 42 inches, or even larger.

While on his sculptural fellowship in 1969-70, he made a life-size clothed figure – in fact a self-portrait – which he said was an attempt “to make a figure, not like a piece of sculpture, more like a person…. I wanted my sculpture to be more like life in the street”. This gradually led to a larger number of life-size standing, clothed figures, sometimes single, sometimes in groups, occasionally with masked faces. To both the life-size and the miniature figures he began to add movement in the 1980s, suggesting interaction: embracing, kneeling, exercising: more frequently, represented naked, their surfaces textured with incising or scraping tools.   The exercises became more athletic - climbing ladders and ropes - the gestures more emotion-laden, expressing fear or surprise. And throughout, his sculptural oeuvre has run in parallel with drawings and studies, which may precede, or proceed from, the sculptures themselves.

Significantly, his first two solo exhibition have been in public galleries, both at the Whitechapel Gallery (1972 and 1975), later a touring exhibition in Germany, to museums in Duisburg, Karlsruhe and Hamburg (1980-81). Robert and Lisa Sainsbury had been among his earliest collectors, and the Sainsbury Centre in Norwich held a major exhibition in 1985. He has also been admired in Spain, with museum exhibitions in Murcia (1995), Bilbao and Valencia (2004).

 

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