Thursday, October 15, 2009

John Davies

When I was doing my BA we went on an art trip to Glasgow and Edinburgh. Contemporary art wasn't really on the syllabus. One of my strongest memories is walking into a room installation that made me scream out loud. It consisted of five or sixmen - life size sculpture, chalky, in suits - in some kind of Clockwork Orange violent composition around a room. The work literally exuded violence and fear. I've never quite seen anything like it (see above). I remember that the figures could be rearranged into different combinations, changing their strange inter-relationship.

After stumbling across a small three figure installation this year at Frieze in the same style, I finally found out the artist was called John Davies. Still alive and represented by the Marlborough Galleries (as was Bacon), his pieces particularly from the early 70s I think are some of the most disturbing and interesting things i've ever seen in my life. An ignored genius who deserves a healthy revival.

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