David Austen thm

David Austen Anthony Reynolds Gallery (2004)

27 February – 27 March 2004
Austen is a master of his medium. There are few painters working in this country today who can approach the sophistication of the colour, the brilliance of the draughtsmanship, the keenness of the surface and the poetry of the content in these compelling works. Here, tradition is put to good purpose. There is a sensibility so fine-tuned to the pains and pleasures, hopes and memories underpinning a deeply felt experience of life. We move from images of kaleidoscopic colour to still monochrome, from trees stripped of leaves to stars stripped of sky, from billboard typography to the few small words of a line of verse suspended like a light in an inky darkness.

There is a symbiotic relationship between colour, image and text in Austen ‘s paintings – the connection between colour and form being driven by a poetic impulse, a recognition of the inspirational source filtered through the language of the medium. Wherever the image leads, the basic material facts of colour and canvas remain essential.

There have been many exhibitions in recent years featuring one or two paintings by Austen , along with his extraordinary drawings, gouaches and photographic assemblies. It is some time, however, since there has been an opportunity to view a larger group of these stunningly beautiful works.

Austen graduated from the Royal College of Art in 1985 and has been exhibiting widely ever since. His work is represented in many of the important collections in this country including Tate, The British Council, The Arts Council and The Government Art Collection. He has received major commissions in the City of London and in Cairo; his works are included in public and private collections in Madrid and Alabama, Edinburgh and Sydney, Brussels and Los Angeles, Stuttgart, Tokyo and New York. This will be Austen ‘s seventh solo exhibition at Anthony Reynolds Gallery since his inaugural show in 1986.