Dance Paintings




Lost in an exhilarating choreography, Cottingham’s dancers celebrate the joy of movement and rhythm”



These figurative based works are studies of dance, movement or gesture. Inspired by contemporary and classical dance, music, photography and sculpture. I work with the dancer in life size compositions in which we enter as viewers to move around in a virtual three dimensional space. Originally Inspired by Matisse and Degas, I became aware of my own need to animate the canvas and retain a sculptural quality. The paintings are worked up in layers of observed movement, trying to express the essence of the movement and the dancer. Very little is obscured, so that the progress of the painter and the dancer can be observed. They are painted from life, using the inspiration and styles of individual contemporary and classical dancers .These abstracted and complex figure paintings aim to celebrate the body and express movement of the human figure in its purist form.

“Lost in an exhilarating choreography, David Cottingham’s dancers celebrate the joy of movement and rhythm, Sometimes in flaming compositions worked up in successive layers, reflecting a whole sequence of progressing moves, sometimes in reduced studies of a single pose, the shape accentuated by colour: David Cottingham’s dancers are filling the canvas, conquering it by their continuous rhythmical steps and gestures, taking their places in space and time”. Barbara Goebels-Cataneo.

“Dance takes abstraction further. It has no physical form. It comes from what the dancers do…… it has no objective reality. Its reality is virtual not physical” Candida Smith

“Dance is the hidden language of the soul” Martha Graham

Shardae Dancing to “Le Sacre”, a painting inspired by Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring