About the work
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.
David Austen (1960 - )
- 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