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THE ESTATE OF JOHN DAVIS




 
ARTIST PROFILE

JOHN DAVIS
Born 1936, Ballarat, died 1999, Melbourne

With a career spanning three decades, Davis was one of Australia’s pre-eminent artists, a sculptor who regularly exhibited in Australia and overseas, particularly Japan and the United States. Davis represented Australia at the 38th Biennale of Venice and the Indian Triennale in 1978, and the Osaka Triennale in 1992. His ongoing concern for landscape resulted in numerous site-specific installation works in Australia, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Britain, the United States, Japan and New Zealand. Significant commissions include an installation in the Australian Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Davis’s work is represented in all Australian national and state galleries, most regional galleries, and in private and public collections in Australia and abroad. He was the recipient of various grants, overseas residencies and prestigious awards, including the Comalco Award in 1970 and the Blake Prize for Religious Art in 1993.

Davis drew inspiration from the Australian bush, particularly the Mallee country, the Hattah Lakes area and the Murray River, the artist often returning to these areas to create ephemeral works in situ. Recurring motifs in his work include rivers and fish, often referred to by the artist as nomads/travellers. Davis deeply respected Aboriginal art and culture, successfully establishing various collaborative projects and exchanges with local aboriginal people. Influenced by the Arte Povera movement and eschewing then fashionable metal sculpture, Davis worked with delicate materials, painstakingly modelling eucalyptus twigs, string, paper, calico and bitumous paint. His work and his many years of lecturing have been highly influential to the current generation of installation artists and sculptors.

Also evident in Davis’s work is his ongoing interest in Japanese forms and traditions, his first visit to Japan in the early 1980s resulted in an ongoing dialogue and relationship with that country and many of its significant artists. His contemplative solo practice was situated within the wider parameters of his exchanges and dialogues with cultures and locations, creating work rich in associations and vocabularies.

The Estate of John Davis comprises a number of works spanning the career of the artist, as well as an extensive archive of written and visual documentation. The Estate provides comprehensive material for researchers, curators and students interested in the artist and Australian art from the 1970s to the late 1990s.

SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2003 John Davis – Evolution of the Fish: Traveller, McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Park, Victoria
2000 Koan, Robert Lindsay Gallery, Melbourne
1998 Koan: Nomads, Rivers and a Presence, Robert Lindsay Gallery, Melbourne
1997 My Country, Muka Studio and Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand
1996 Continuum (White), Robert Lindsay Gallery, Auckland, Melbourne
1995 Rivers, Robert Lindsay Gallery Melbourne
1994 Landscape as Subject and Source, Cheney Cowles Museum, Spokane, Washington, USA; Space Gallery ,Los Angeles, USA
My Country (And Other Places) 1994, Swan Hill Regional Gallery for Contemporary Art, Victoria
1993 Evolution of a Fish, Watters Gallery, Sydney
1992 Evolution of a Fish, Luba Bilu Gallery, Melbourne
1989 Kohji Ogura Gallery, Nagoya, Japan
Luba Bilu Gallery, Melbourne
Seiganji Temple, Nagoya, Japan
1988 Watters Gallery, Sydney
Heide Park and Art Gallery, Melbourne
1986 Inax Gallery, Osaka, Japan
Inax Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
Space Gallery, Los Angeles, USA
1985 Avago Gallery, Sydney
Watters Gallery, Sydney
1984 University of Southern California Atelier, Los Angeles, USA
1983 Gallery Anri, Nagoya, Japan
Art Projects, Melbourne
1982 Ina Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
Ryo Gallery, Kyoto, Japan
1981 Watters Gallery, Sydney
Arts Projects, Melbourne
1980 Q Space Annex, Brisbane; Q Space, Brisbane
Wollongong City Gallery, NSW
Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane
1979 Watters Gallery, Sydney
Art Projects, Melbourne
1978 Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
1977 Watters Gallery, Sydney
1975 CAS Gallery, Adelaide
Monash University, Melbourne
1974 Pinacotheac Gallery, Melbourne
1972 Gallery One Eleven, Brisbane
1971 Watters Gallery, Sydney
1969 Strines Gallery, Melbourne

INSTALLATIONS
2003 This was the future … Australian Sculpture of the 1950s, 60s, 70s & Today, Museum of Modern Art at Heide, Melbourne
2000 Koan, Robert Lindsay Gallery, Melbourne
1998 Koan: Nomads, Rivers and a Presence, For Shirley, Robert Lindsay Gallery, Melbourne
1997 A Hill, A River, Two Rocks and A Presence, Herring Island Project, Melbourne, Victoria, Melbourne International Festival
1996 Passage, Toolangi, Victoria
Continuum (White), Robert Lindsay Gallery, Melbourne
1995 Rivers, Robert Lindsay Gallery Melbourne
1994 Installation Two, Ashcombe Maze, Shoreham Victoria
Another Time, Another Place (and a River), Cheney Cowles Museum, Spokane, Washington, USA; Space Gallery ,Los Angeles, USA
Pental Island (River Level), Swan Hill, Victoria
1993 Installation One, Ashcombe Maze, Shoreham, Victoria
TAB Office, Bendigo, Victoria
Museum of Modern Art at Heide, Melbourne
1989 Seiganji Temple, Nagoya, Japan
1988 Heide Park and Art Gallery, Melbourne
1987 Old Camel Trail, Saudi Arabia
1986 SMIP, Djerassi Foundation, Woodside, California, USA
1985 Conversation, University of Tasmania, Hobart
1984 Barmah Installation, Barmah Forest, Victoria
Elysian Park Installation, Los Angeles, USA
1983 Goji’s Bridge, Barmah Forest, Victoria
1981 Place Two, Latrobe University, Melbourne
1980 Unley Civic and Community Centre, Adelaide, SA
Observatory Revisited, Barmah Forest, Victoria
Markers One, Two, Three, Piamena, Tasmania
Lake Wakatipu, New Zealand
1979 Observatory, Barmah Forest, Victoria
With Animal Trap, Grampians, Victoria
1978 Installation with Ti Parks, Bay Wharf, London
1977 Solar Piece, You Yangs, Victoria
1976 Ovens River, Myrtleford, Victoria
Hattah Lakes, Victoria
1973 Mildura Sculpture Triennial, Victoria
1972 Installation, Scottish Highlands

GROUP EXHIBITIONS
1997 The Sixth International Shoebox Sculpture Exhibition, University of Hawaii at Manoa Art Galery, Touring USA Art Museums for two years
1996 Toolandi International Sculpture Event, Toolangi, Victoria
Food in Art, Mornington Peninusla Regional Gallery, Victoria
The Art of Collecting #2, Linden Gallery, Melbourne
1995 Ironsides, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney
One vision, Space Gallery, Los Angeles, USA
Save Albert Park 9x5, Robert Lindsay Gallery, Melbourne
Ashcombe Maze Three, Shoreham, Victoria
The River, Swan Hill Regional Art Gallery, Touring Exhibition: Mildura, Swan Hill, Mount Gambier, Shepparton, Benalla, Albury, Sale
1994 UK/LA 1994, Los Angeles City Century Centre, Los Angeles, USA
Theoretical Vogueing, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Fourth Australian Contemporary Art Fair, Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne
The Fifth International Shoebox Sculpture Exhibition, University of Hawaii at Manoa Art Gallery. Touring Art Museums, USA, Taiwan
Ashcombe Maze, Two, Shoreham, Victoria
1993 Blake Prize for Religious Art, Blaxland Gallery, Sydney
Innerland, Exhibition of Australian Contemporary Art, Soko Gallery, Tokyo, Japan (part of Celebrate Australia Festival)
Sculpture on View, Bendigo Regional Gallery, Victoria
Ashcombe Maze One, Shoreham, Victoria
1992 The Museum Collection: Art and Nature, Institute of Contemporary Art, Sydney
Review 1992, Luba Bilu Gallery, Melbourne
The Third Australian Contemporary Art Fair, Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne
Osaka Triennale ’92 – International Triennal Competition of Scupture, Osaka 1992, Osaka, Japan
1991 Review 1991, Luba Bilu Gallery, Melbourne
Small Sculpture, (Graeme Sturgeon Foundation), Powell Street Gallery, Melbourne
The Fourth International Shoebox Sculpture Exhibition, University of Hawaii, at Manoa Art Gallery. Touring USA Art Museums for two years
Contemporary Art of the 80’s, 100 Form, Inaxs Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
1990-91 Art from Australia – Eight Contemporary Views, Tour to Bangkok, Jakarta, Manila, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore
1990 Special … it’s been used before, Luba Bilu Gallery, Melbourne
Second Australian Contemporary Art Fair, Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne
Fourth Australian Sculpture Triennial, On-Site: Sculpture in City Spaces, Georges Department Store, Melbourne
One Hundred Exhibition, Inax Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
Pacific Currents, Muckenthaler Centre, Fullerton, CA, USA
1989 Watters, 25 Years, Watters Gallery, Sydney
Small Works Sculpture, The Cockatoo Gallery, Melbourne
1988 First Australian Contemporary Art Fair, Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne
1987 Systems of Judgement, Collaborative work with Dance art company, David Rosenboom composer, at the New Performance Gallery, San Francisco, USA
Field to Figuration, Australian Art 1960–1986, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
1986 Q Space & Q Space Annex 1980–1981, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane
1985 KIS ’85 International Show, Seoul, Korea
Common Earth, Alive and Unfired, University of Tasmania, Hobart
Singular and Plural, A Look at Australian Sculpture, South Australian School of Art Gallery, Adelaide
1984 Sculptors as Craftsmen, Meat Market Craft Centre, Melbourne
Second Australian Sculpture Triennial, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Acquisitions & Alternative Sculpture, Monash University, Melbourne
Austausch/Exchange: A Collaborative Installation, Gryphon Gallery, Melbourne College of Advanced Education, Melbourne; Ivan Dougherty Gallery, Sydney
Australian: Nine Contemporary Artists, Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art
Australian Sculpture, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth
1983 Asian Interface, Crafts Centre, Sydney
Continuum, Lunami Gallery, Tokyo
Bi-annal Survey of Contemporary Australian Art, No.1 Installation, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth
1981 Patrick White’s Choice, Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney
Land Marks, Victorian College of the Arts Gallery, Sydney
Ten Years, Ewing & George Paton Galleries, Melbourne
Relics and Rituals, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Perspecta ’81, Art Gallery of NSW, Arts Project
First Australian Sculpture Triennial, Latrobe University, Melbourne
Landscape/Art, Two way Reaction, Australian National Gallery at the Australian National University, Canberra
1980 Fifteen Sculptors, Travelling Exhibition, Victoria & NSW
1979 Art Projects, Melbourne
1978 ACT One, Australian National University, Canberra
Venice Biennale, Italy
Mildura Sculpture Triennial, Victoria
Fourth Indian Triennial, New Delhi, India
1976 Coventry Collection, University of New England, NSW
Biennale of Sydney, Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney
Sculpture Conference in New Orleans (Photographs)
1975 National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Ewing and George Paton Galleries, Melbourne
Mildura Sculpture Triennale, Victoria
1974 Ewing and George Paton Galleries, Melbourne
Latrobe Vallery Arts Centre, Victoria
1973 St Pauls Cathedral, Melbourne
Recent Australian Art, Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney
Mildura Sculpture Triennial, Victoria
1972 Geelong City Art Gallery, Victoria
1971 Von Bertouch Gallery, Newcastle, NSW
Pinacotheca Gallery, Melbourne
Transfield Invitation, Sydney
1970 Monash Law School Invitation, Melbourne
Comalco Invitation Sculpture Competition, Melbourne
Ballaarat City Art Gallery, Victoria
Shepparton City Art Gallery, Victoria
Mildura Sculpture Triennial, Victoria
1968 Alcorso-Sekers Sculpture Competition, Melbourne
Pinacotheca Gallery, Melbourne
1967 Mildura Sculpture Triennial, Victoria
1966 Sculpture Centre, Canberra
Alcorso-Sekers Sculpture Competition, Sydney
1961 Mildura Sculpture Triennial, Victoria

COLLECTIONS
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney
Natinal Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth
Hobart Museum and Art Gallery, Tasmania
Kawasaki City Art Museum, Kawasaki, Japan
Seiganji Temple, Nagoya, Japan
Australian Chancery, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Power Bequest, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
Geelong City Art Gallery, Victoria
Mildura City art Gallery, Victoria
Newcastle Regional Art Gallery, NSW
Shepparton City Art Gallery, Victoria
Wollongong City Art Gallery, NSW
Flinders University, South Australia
Launceston School of Art, Tasmania
McClelland Gallery & Sculpture Park, Victoria
Melbourne State College, Victoria
Monash Medial Centre, Melbourne
Museum of Modern Art at Heide, Melbourne
Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane
Taim Management Collection, Melbourne
Besen Collection, Melbourne
Bankers Trust, Melbourne
Museum of Contemporary Art, Honolulu, Hawaii
Uniting Church, Pitt Street, Sydney
Coopers & Lybrand, Melbourne
City of Swan Hill, Victoria
Swan Hill Regional Art Gallery

ARTIST RESIDENCIES
1997 Muka Studio and Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand
1995 Visiting Professor, Nagoya Univeristy of the Arts, Nagoya, Japan
1994 Cheney Cowles museum, Spokane, Washington, USA
Eltham College, Melbourne
1989 School of Art, Canberra institute of the Arts, Canberra, ACT
1987 Djerassi Foundation, Woodside, California
1986 Djerassi Foundation, Woodside, California
1984 University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA
1976 Monash University, Melbourne

AWARDS AND PRIZES
1993 Blake Prize for Religious Art, Sydney
1992 Artist Development Grant, Visual Art5/Craft Board of Australia Council
1970 Comalco Invitation Sculptural Prize 1970, Melbourne


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