The Fine Art Society Contemporary presents work by Australian artist Paul Davies, produced during his
three month residency at the Cite Internationale des Arts, Paris, awarded by the Art Gallery of New
South Wales, Australia.
Paul Davies creates seductively atmospheric paintings that
consider the precarious relationship between built and natural
environments. These are not landscapes in the traditional sense,
rather they are portraits of space and investigations into the limits
of organic and urban forms. Idyllic yet abandoned, the homes in
Davies’ work invite the viewer into the picture.
Davies represents notions of dislocation and timelessness by
drawing heavily upon American and Australian Modernist
architecture and distinctive natural topographies. The subjects
include houses and landscapes from a variety of contrasting
locations, which once stenciled, impose a structural order over
the various backgrounds upon which they are painted. This
process refers not just to the way Australia, since colonisation,
has imported architectural styles to strive for a cultural identity. It
also highlights the “struggle” against what is seen as the
unforgiving natural environment.
Built in Translation features amongst others Le Corbusier’s
French modernist icon, the Villa Savoye or “machine for living”.
However, devoid of human form and repeated within foreign
settings, these ‘textbook’ homes become eerie settings in which
the viewer is invited to consider a variety of possible narratives.
The play between stenciled areas and free hand painting has always been a core component of the artist’s
work and in recent years the contrast has been taken to further extremes. Referencing the work of British
sculptor Rachel Whiteread, Davies has translated his stencils into sculpture. His ghostly bronze pieces refer to
the bridges that hold the stencil together as an entire sheet. In his practice the stencil has become emblematic
of a recurring structure, highlighting the imperceptible boundary between the past and the present.
Paul Davies (b.1979) is an Australian artist who lives and works in Sydney. He attended UNSW College of Fine
Art and the National Art School, Australia. His most recent solo exhibitions include Flattening Sublime (2013) at
the Cite Internationale des Arts, Paris, and Olsen Irwin Gallery, Sydney; Blow-Up (2013) at The Cat Street
Gallery, Hong Kong; Pentimento (2012) at the Gold Coast City Gallery; Void (2011) at The Cat Street Gallery,
Hong Kong; Hammer (2010) at the Tim Olsen Gallery, Sydney and Modern Home (2010) at Rebecca Hossack
Art Gallery, London. Group shows include Evocatecture (2010) at the Heather James Fine Art Gallery,
California; Natural Selection (2012) at The Fine Art Society Contemporary, London; Pat Corrigan: Art Collector
(2011) at the Maitland Regional Art Gallery. Davies was a ﬁnalist in the Fleurei Art Prize, The Sovereign Art
Foundation Art Prize, Hong Kong; and was recently awarded the artist residency at the Cite Internationale des
Arts, Paris, by the Art Gallery of New South Wales.