Galerie Beckel Odille Boïcos and GV Art gallery, London present
David Heathcote: Beyond Horizons
David Heathcote (born 1931) is a contemporary English painter, whose work spans over 60 years. Today, he lives and works in Kent, though his art has led him to reside in Zimbabwe, and in Nigeria where he spent more than a decade.
David trained at the Canterbury College of Art, and later at the Slade School in London, under Claude Rogers and Keith Vaughan. David’s imagination as a painter was fired when he encountered Cubism at the Slade, and later by the African arts he encountered during his time as an art historian at Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria. While in Nigeria David studied, photographed and collected the embroidered dress of the Hausa people on which he wrote his doctoral thesis. These rare, richly embroidered fabrics, which have also inspired his work, he has since donated to the British Museum.
David’s vivid, often highly abstracted painting explores the themes of construction, colour and space. The work is drawn from his memory and imagination rather than studies or directly from life. He says, ‘For me, creativity is a journey where one is constantly meeting the unexpected, and there are always many challenges on the way to achieving the visual poetry I aspire to.’
David has used a wide range of media in his work, from oil and acrylic paint, to collage, assemblage, clay and stone. His subject matter varies from delicately drawn bucolic landscapes of South England to Surrealist assemblage and collage and vividly patterned abstract canvases inspired by African light and fabrics. The variety of styles and themes in his oeuvre reflects his English roots (the Kent landscapes), his generation (the English Romantic and Surrealist styles of the 1940s) and his experience of living, teaching and studying in Africa in the 1960s and 1970s. His lasting love of France and his culture began with his first visit to Paris in 1948.
Galerie Beckel Odille Boïcos is honoured to host David Heathcote’s first exhibition in Paris following the major retrospective of his work held in London at GV Art in 2010. We most particularly hope that the French public but also the British and Commonwealth communities in Paris will have the opportunity of discovering the work of this uniquely poetic British artist.