Gallery Vassie is proud to present a retrospective exhibition of the work of British photographer Marcus Davies. This show highlights five distinctive series of his work from the last 25 years. Each body of work is in itself technically brilliant and totally diverse from the other, the mastery of his photography and printing skills shines through it all Black and White. These distinctive black and white images are an oblique interpretation of the ‘figure’ in both cityscape and landscape in the world around him.
For ten years Davies traveled throughout Europe, capturing scenes from his own characteristic perspective. Taken from a high and detached vantage point, Davies’s photographs catch reality off-guard and report back from the abstract corners of unmitigated sensation. Characters captured in these scenes become elements of a wider composition, where superfluous details are stripped to reveal a timeless image, contributing to his unique style.
In this series Davies excludes unnecessary detail from his images still further with his minimalist animal portraits. These highly abstract and graphic images reveal figures caught in a play of light and shade, positive and negative. These portraits with their striped down simplicity, combined with Davies' mastery of photography, breathe playful life in to each and every one of these animals. This enables us to reach inside ourselves and see the beauty in the everyday, the beauty in the abstract simplistic form.
In the “Marbles” series, there is a movement away from narrative themes to a pure, formal aesthetic. A shock of colour comes into the equation in this series with a burst of brightness, a vibrancy that wows the senses and visually engages us from the outset. The investigation of colour and form is diametrically opposed to the black and white series - however it still embodies the technical brilliance and skill of Marcus Davies in a different way.
The investigation of form is continued in this more recent work, where elastic bands are dropped onto a plain white background and photographed where they fell. No tricks of the light are employed, just sheer honest, pure photography. Which shows us the delight and beauty of the ordinary, the everyday, through simply beautiful photography. In all of Marcus Davies work, his main interest is the visual balance of each individual composition, there is no socio-political message or investigation of complex personal narratives. The photographs are about the very language of photography; light and form.
“You young people believe that art should talk about society or politics. But that is wrong. Art is to dance!” — Josef Albers c.1971
This is the first opportunity to view many of these images. We cannot stress enough that these images really do need to be seen in person - they are amazing. So, we very much look forward to welcoming you to the gallery. Davies has exhibited widely in the UK and his work is represented in many key collections including Citibank, New York & London, The Victoria & Albert Museum and The Saatchi Collection, London.