Evans, David

(1929 – 1988)

The Dream, late 1960's

Signed with initials

Photomontage,
pen & ink and
watercolour
19 ¾ x 28 ¾ in.
(50 x 73 cm)

DESCRIPTION

Provenance:
The Artist’s Studio

Literature: “David Evans (1929-1988)”, edited by Sacha Llewellyn & Paul Liss, published by Liss Llewellyn Fine Art, 2017. ISBN 978-0-9930884-6-9. Cat 38, page 64.

Evans’ compositions belong to the Northern tradition of Hieronymus Bosch (1450-1516). Through heightened colour and narrative details his contemporary subjects resonate an underlying disquiet: I don’t think anyone produces anything of value until it has actually got into the blood stream. In his love of story-telling, quirky humour and a delight in the ordinary, his pictures are also unequivocally British, especially in his commitment to producing watercolours intended for exhibition, rather than as studies for larger oil paintings.

Comparison to the large, idiosyncratic watercolours of Edward Burra (1905-1976) is inevitable, but in Evans’ paintings there are also other clear genera-tional influences, from Keith Vaughan (1912-1977), by whom Evans was taught, to Peter Blake (b.1932), David Hockney (b.1937), Alan Reynolds (1926-2014), Lucian  Freud  (1922-2011),  Francis  Bacon  (1909-1992),  Graham  Sutherland  (1903-1980) and Eduardo Paolozzi (1924-2005). 

Urban subjects similar to the repertoire of L.S Lowry (1887-1976), unfold against a backdrop of factories, concerts halls, sporting arenas,  beaches, cafeterias and bars, museum interiors and shopping centres. Bill-boards, traffic congestion and fast food are very much in evidence.   Night clubs are peopled predominantly by men (and the occasional drag-queen), a celebration of Evans’ homosexuality.   Evans made his living whilst in London running a small classical music record shop, Record Roundabout, at 291 Brompton Road. 

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THE ARTIST

Evans, David

1929 – 1988

The highly distinctive large scale watercolours of David Evans  have  much in common with those of Edward Burra, who, twenty four years his senior and much admired by Evans, was clearly an important influence.  Painting the landscape of his native Suffolk, where he settled (near Woodbridge) in 1969, his brightly coloured compositions, which typically measure 30 x 50 inches, fused his local habitat with vivid fantasies inspired by imagery from contemporary life.

He was a ardent campaigner and environmentalist and the effects of pollution in the form  of landfill, industrial plants and roads encroaching into his landscape are regular motifs.  He was also drawn to metropolitan subjects – rock bands, cafeterias, excursions to museums and days out to the beach.

Born in London. he studied at Central School of Arts and Crafts with Keith Vaughan. Early in his career he showed photomontages at Gallery One and gained several commissions; these included a design for the Hollywood Room in the Observer Film Exhibition, 1956, and a mural for the Soup Kitchen, Knightsbridge.  His characteristic large-scale watercolours and gouaches date from 1967 onwards.  They were first shown in public in 1973, when his work was included in a mixed show at Deben Gallery, Woodbridge. In 1975 his work was included in summer show at Redfern Gallery, which resulted in a series of highly successful solo exhibitions at Redfern in 1979, 1981, 1983, 1984, 1986 and a memorial show in 1988. He also had one-man shows at McMur­ray Gallery from 1976-8. In 1981 he was the subject of an Anglia ITV folio documentary. In his pre-1970 London years David ran his own specialist classical record shop in the Brompton Road, and in spite of his later success, he worked in his final years as a porter at a local psychiatric hospital.  In the winter months he often found it hard to paint because the light conditions were too dull. He died at the age of 59 in a road accident. A memorial exhibition was held at Redfern in 1988.

The recent discovery of a unique group of pictures by Evans, which remained in his studio, unseen for several decades,  has allowed the opportunity to curate the first ever full retrospective, (to take place in 2017).

The exhibition will be accompanied by a 240 page book, reproducing for the first time over 100 works spanning his entire career.  The introduction will be written by the musician Pete Gage, a friend of Evans best known as the  vocalist from the pop group Dr Feelgood.

MORE PICTURES BY ARTIST

David Evans
Peak range, 1979
£1,600.00
David Evans
Still-life with vegetables, mid 1970’s
£2,850.00
David Evans
Cosmos VIII, late 1960’s
£975.00
David Evans
Ritual
£1,650.00
David Evans
It’s Raining, It’s Pouring
£2,000.00
David Evans
The Open Door, circa 1950
£2,000.00
David Evans
A Day Trip
£2,000.00
David Evans
An Evening Out; (The Magic Circle), 1960
£1,950.00
David Evans
Room with a View
£1,750.00