About the Artist
“I believe in painting and drawing as a vehicle for a poetic and evocative expression of the world, I want to create an art of richness, spontaneity, sensuality and style. My work focuses on the two great themes of art – the human body and landscape. It draws on many influences from nature to dance, photography, astronomy and music.”
David Cottingham is a London-based artist who has developed a unique body of work on the themes of Dance and Landscape Abstraction in the media of Painting, Drawing and Sculpture.
David studied at St Martins School of Art, London, under Philip King RA, William Tucker and Sir Anthony Caro.
He has exhibited international including New York, Chicago, London, Beirut and Rome.
His work is also held in various private collections worldwide.
My paintings are abstracted improvisations on the two themes that most inspire me, the human body in motion and the spirit of place.
The Abstract paintings are also journeys into new spaces and landscapes, creating something unpredictable, beyond the subject. I like the work to evolve its own life and meaning. The main aim being to uncover ever deeper inherent structures, forms and emotions in the initial idea by using the language of paint on canvas in a very spontaneous way, revealing unconscious worlds and possibilities.
My Dance work has its roots in sculpture, which I originally studied. I apply the drawn or painted line with a free, layered approach, which creates its own unique forms and also mirrors the dancers movements. I have always loved observing the dancer, the single figure in motion and began to experiment by trying to capture something of the sensation of the dancer’s movement in space. This became a vehicle for me to express the real-time spontaneity and improvisation which is the essence Dance.
I now continue to work on both strands of painting and sculpture simultaneously as I find they inform each other and grow together.
“Made Visible” D Contemporary Gallery, Grafton Street Mayfair , London 2017
I was born and raised near the Ashdown Forest in Sussex and later the Kent coast near Margate. This coastline, with its wonderful sunsets, so beloved of Turner, became in time a great influence on my Abstracted landscape-inspired paintings.
At school I studied art history in depth, copying from Raphael, Turner, Degas, Rodin, Matisse and Picasso, then when I was old enough I attended Life Classes at the local Art School.
I graduated from Martins School of Art, where I had studied Sculpture with Sir Anthony Caro, William Tucker and Phillip King RA.
There I had been making welded metal dance-like structures. Later I returned to working with the figure more directly, particularly Drawing from Life and Movement and also developing more personal techniques in Abstracted Paintings, using mixed media.
Previously I have also worked in photography and design professionally and this now informs the way I use images to underpin my creative process.
My current studio is in West London, where I have been able to developed these two main strands of my work even further and am now able to create larger paintings both for exhibition and commission.
“Sunrise Off Margate” This Light and Landscape so beloved of Turner, was also an influence from my youth, on recent paintings of seascapes around the world.
My West London Studio