Leo Davy (1924-1987)
|This superb British 1950's abstract oil on board painting is by noted Slade School trained contemporary artist Leo Davy. Davy was born in Yorkshire but settled in Cornwall in 1968 and the influence of the Cornish landscape can be seen in his work. He rarely exhibited and largely shunned the art world, indeed preferring to not even make a living from his art, working as a tool maker, framer and gilder and even as a tomato picker. His deafness further took him into his own world and he communicated best through his art. This fantastic untitled composition was painted in 1954. Bold dark shapes are interjected with vibrant blue, red and yellow with a white background. There is fantastic heavy impasto and confident, strong brushwork. The ebonised frame perfectly houses the work. Davy painted many fine abstract compositions but this is a particularly good example of his early work from the fifties.
|Piano Noble Gallery. Exhibition label verso.
|Oil on Board
|12 x 20 inches
|Housed in a beautiful ebonised gallery frame, 28 inches by 20 inches and in good condition.
|Leo Davy (1924-1987) was born in Yorkshire, the son of an art teacher and painter and musician mother. He refused to attend school and was home tutored by his parents. He became an accomplished artist and musician at an early age. At ten years old he won a national drawing competition. In 1939 he studied at the Kingston School of Art, under Reginald Brill. Between 1942-45 he studied at the Slade School of Fine Art. ( He was unable to be conscripted due to his inherited deafness). Davy was then evacuated to Oxford with the school due to the Blitz. Davy often sneaked into the university to attend lectures and made many friends among the philosophy students. Art was for him a philosophical enquiry. It was at the Slade that Davy met Kyffin Williams who had been invalided out of the army. Both men later became teachers and settled for a while in Highgate. But Davy left teaching to concentrate on his art. For the majority of his life he shied away from the art world and was hostile to showing his work. In fact, he rarely exhibited at all and sometimes turned down prospective purchasers for his deeply personal works. However, in 1950, Davy was included in a mixed summer show at the Gimpel-Fils gallery alongside artists including Patrick Heron, William Gear, Alan Davie and William Scott. Davy was strongly dedicated to the development of abstraction. It was through his panel paintings and works on paper that he reduced and refined scenes of everyday life into his own carefully considered abstract vision, applying thick paint and washes to form blocks of colour, often quite angular. He settled in North Cornwall in 1968 with his wife, Antonia where he largely isolated himself to focus on his painting. he lived and worked there until his untimely death from a heart attack in 1987