Cairo Painting

David Austen (1960 - )

Oil on linen


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  • About the work
    Country: Egypt
    City: Cairo
    Place: British Embassy

    David Austen was commissioned to produce this painting for the British Embassy in Cairo as he has a long-standing interest in Egyptian art and artefacts. Austen uses a wide variety of objects including Egyptian vessels as a starting point, looking to them primarily for shape, texture and colour. He builds up the work in layers, with much painting out, re-painting and moving of the objects, some of which have faint numbers on them derived from museum accession numbers. He has used a heavy gesso coat on thick linen cotton weave which gives the surface of the painting a matt, dry, almost fresco-like appearance. Here Austen is primarily concerned with conveying the contradiction inherent in portraying three-dimensional objects on a flat surface; trying to suggest solidity and depth while still emphasising the fact that they are essentially just paint on canvas.

  • About the artist
    David Austen was born in Harlow in 1960 and studied both at Maidstone College of Art and the Royal College of Art, London. His work is represented in many important collections including the Tate Collection; The British Council; Arts Council, and numerous international private collections. He has received major commissions in London and Cairo and has curated several exhibitions including Exodus at Kettle's Yard, Cambridge, in 2004. His work has been included in group exhibitions such as Take it from Here, at Sunderland Museum and Art Gallery (2006) and About Vision: New British Painting in the 1990s, at Museum of Modern Art Oxford (1997). In spring 2007 he had a major solo exhibition at Milton Keynes Gallery.
  • Explore
    Materials & Techniques
    linen, oil, oil painting
  • Details
    Cairo Painting
    Oil on linen
    height: 168.00 cm, width: 199.00 cm
    Commissioned from the artist, January 1999
    verso, tl (on stretcher): David Austen 'CAIRO PAINTING' 1998-99
    GAC number