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David Evans (1929–1988):
Unmounted (ref: 8105)
Watercolour and ink
30 1/4 x 41 1/4 in. (77 x 105 cm)
Provenance: The Artist's Studio
In a letter to The Redfern Gallery dated 1 January 1981 he said that in choosing the titles he aimed for something that would be ‘beguiling’. His titles are typically characterised by innuendo and humour : Horrendous Rex; Bird Watching; Murphy Rules; The Land of Nod; Many titles remain enigmatic: 89th Parallel; Fete of Klee; The L9; Voices of 1431; 207 Miles Per Hour (1979); City Seconds (1979)....
His subjects range from the sacred to the profane and the mundane to the exotic; though frequently with the edges blurred: Noli Me Tangere; The Wages of Sin and Co (1979); Scenes from Provincial Life (1979); South Sea Bubble(1978); The Angel of Mons (1978).
The Old Testament and Pagan world provided a ready stream of themes in which Evans’ imagination could flow freely, responding with science-fiction style reinterpretations of age old subjects: Tower of Babel (1981-82); David and Goliath; Dies Irae (1978), Venus Observed (1979); Sirens; The Witch of Endor; Opus Surgieum; Saxons (1978); Landscape with Angels.
Many of his subjects evolve around days out: Reptile House (1979); Aquarium; The Natural History Museum (1978); Figures on a beach and sporting activities: Cricketers (1981) Pool Players (1981-2); Rugby; Skaters (1979); Gymnasts; Bike Rally. Spectacles were a favourite subject: Stadium Crowd (1988); Theatre Audience (1980); Night at the Opera; First Floor Foyer; Live at the New Roxy (1978); Live at the New Tree; The Great Corelli; Tracy’s Disco-Bar (1979); The Crystal Room (1980); Madam Noys; Street Theatre; Horror Film (1988). Fun fairs were the subject of at least three compositions: Dodgems (1976), New Improved Ghost Train (1981-2); Fundrome (1979)Nocturnal scenes were also favourite subjects: Night Flight; Night Landscape II (1979); Nocturnal (1979); Fireworks(1988); City Lights. Evans rejoiced especially in painting an often exclusively male milieu: Men’s Hairdressing (1979); Turkish Baths (1981-82); Club Night II (1988).CAT. 24 – Life Drawing Class, pen & ink on paper, 22 x 29 ½ in. (56 x 75 cm).
Roads and railways, the essential links between Evan’s two worlds of town and country, commonly provide the main subject of compositions: Central Line – Aldgate East (1988), City Railway (1988); Anglian Rail (1979); Station Approaches (1979); A Road to Wickham; City Approaches; Mainline Bar.When in his native Suffolk, activities around Potash Farm (where he lived from 1969 onwards), provided a wealth of subjects: Potash Garden (1978); Cabbage Pickers (1981-20; Flower Garden (1981-2); The Allotment (1986); Crown Imperial (1988); Geraniums (1981-2); Gladioli, Daffodils (1986); Irises; Apples (1986); Pumpkins (1986);The Marrow Family; Cabbages; Cows Come Home (1981); Friesians; Cows XII; Piglets; Seagulls; Tour d’Anglia; Suffolk Scrap; Ruralia Mddx; Wessex; Suffolk Landscape (1979); Ipswich.
In his imagination Evans also travelled further afield: Rhine Journey; Tipperary; Scapa Flow (1977); and further still: Asia Major, Indian Landscape; Slavonic Dances; Arabian Days (1980).