Robert Davies
  • Introduction

  • Bio

  • Exhibitions

  • Publications

  • More contexts

Before completing his Masters of Art at London’s Royal College in 1993, Robert Davies had been a bike messenger, foxhunting documentarian, and an adventurer in India. The British experimentalist’s photographic series are just as multifaceted as his biography. Whether creating luminous cameraless color studies in the darkness of the photo lab or photographing romantic foggy landscapes, whether commemorating the precision of the Formula 1 with prickly sharp detailed composition or experimenting with long and multiple exposures, Robert Davies exploits the medium’s possibilities.

And when billions of people follow the World Cup games on TV, he feels obliged to trace this phenomenon of collective observation and unified interest. And with their surveillance-camera look, the video stills he uses assume something ghostly. But what we see, mostly schematic and blurred, are not the coincidentally captured moments of crime but rather definitive scenes and scored goals of modern heroes, which become the fateful moments of national history. When Robert Davies robs the Formula 1 of its speed or depicts the hysteria of a banal soccer game as a gladiator battle, he agilely leaps over the borders between documentation and abstraction and, through this, continues to test our very pleasurably learned customs of seeing.

Dr. Boris von Brauchitsch
1964Born in Birmingham
1991-93Royal College of Art MA Photography
1984-88London College of Printing BA Graphic Design

Collections (Selection)

University of Michigan Museum of Art, USA
Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio, USA
Museé de l'Elysee, Lausanne, Switzerland
Merrill Lynch
Economist, London
Cable & Wireless
Goldman Sachs

Solo Exhibitions (Selection)

2005‘One’, Blue Gallery, London & Royal Academy Schools Gallery, London
‘Made in Britain’ FOAM, Fotografiemuseum of Amsterdam in conjunction with a group show at Huis Marseille
2004‘Untitled. The poetry of experience’, Hirschl, London
‘Chromogenesis,’ Tatar Gallery, Toronto
2003‘Material Light,’ KMZA, Berlin
2002‘Epiphany,’ Blue Gallery, London
‘Material Light’, Rhodes & Mann, London
‘Material Light’, touring Kulturzentrum Alte Feuerwache, Mannheim, Germany
Stadtische Galerie, Waldkraiburg, Germany
2000'New works', Rhodes & Mann, London
1999'Water', Jason & Rhodes, London
1998'Epiphany', Jason & Rhodes, London
1997'Cloudscapes', Arquivo Fotografico, Lisbon, Portugal
'Dreamlands', Midland Arts Centre, Birmingham
1994'Pelt', Salama-Caro Gallery, London
'Skin', The Photographers Gallery, London

Group Exhibitions (Selection)

2010    ‘One Shot’ Football in Contermporary Art, BPS22, Charleroi, Belgium (Andreas Gursky, Gianni Motti, Monika Fischer, PSJM)
‘Frei nach Malerei’, Kunstlerhaus, Dortmund
‘X Artworks in a Straight Line’, Crisp London Los Angeles (Graham Hudson, Joe Sola, Linn Pederson)
‘State of Play’, The Public, Walsall (Paul Smith)
2009    ‘Non Objektiv’ GKG, Bonn (Christoph Dalhausen)
2008    ‘In the palm of your hand’, Galleria La Nuova Pesa, Rome (Masao Yamamoto)
‘Balls and Brains’, Helmhaus Museum, Zurich
‘Art Basel’ with FAS Contemporary
‘Replay – the Ball in Art’ Haus fur Kunst, Altdorf, Switzerland (Sam Taylor-Wood, Paul Smith)
‘10 years’ Lutz Thalmann, Zurich
2007    ‘Monochrome2’ FAS, London (Jason Martin, Mark Francis)
‘Landscape’ supporting ‘The Ballad of Mister Bones’ (Andy Harper) Frost & Reed, London
‘Select’ Bourne Fine Art, Edinburgh (Melanie Comber Oliver Marsden)
2006    ‘Monochrome’ FAS, London
2005‘Made in Britain’, Huis Marseille, Amsterdam (Chris Bucklow, Susan Derges)
‘WinterReise’, Lutz Thalmann, Zurich (Howard Hodgkin & Wilfred Moser)
‘Forest’ Wolverhampton Museum & Art Gallery then touring England to Nottingham, York, Southampton (Anya Gallaccio, Dan Hays, Mariele Neudecker and Dalziel & Scullion)
2004‘The FIFA 100,’ The Royal Academy, London then touring to Paris & Tokyo (Mark Quinn, Vik Muniz, William Klien & Martin Parr)
‘Landscape photography’, Djanogly Gallery, Nottingham (Jem Southam)
‘Abstract Photograpy’, Galerie Renate Bender, Munich (Inge Dick, Victoria Coeln & Christoph Dalhausen)
‘Space & Structure’, Galerie Lutz Thalmann, Zurich (Oliver Kraehenbuehl)
‘Sports’, FOAM, Foto Museum of Amsterdam, Hollan (Claudio Hills, Charles Freger & Paul Wombell)
2003‘Alchemy’, Hirschl Contemporary Art, London (Inge Dick)
‘Optic Nerve’ Wolsey Art Gallery, Ipswich (Ricard Caldicott, Gary Fabian Miller, Rodericke Packe & Daro Montag)
2002‘Narration and New Reduction in Photography’, Forum Stadtpark, Graz (Christopher Williams, James Welling, Florian Pumhosl & Gunther Selichar)
‘5:1’ Alte Feuerwache, Mannheim, Germany (Ori Gersht & Roddy Buchanan)
2001‘Gone Missing’, Frederieke Taylor Gallery, New York (Jason Oddy)
'Is there anyone home?' Galerie Zurcher, Paris (Elisa Sighicelli, Rut Blees Luxenburg & Uta Barth)
2000'The Body' Musee de l'Elysee, Lausanne, Switzerland (Avedon, Brassai, Drtikol, Goldin, Man Ray, Salgado & Stieglitz)
'Fusion', Rhodes & Mann, London
'Century of the Body,' Culturgest, Lisbon, Portugal
1999'Turf Accountants', The Economist, Economist Plaza, London
1998'Whitechapel Open', Whitechapel Gallery, London
'Blindspot No.11', Art Directors Club, New York
'Body', Cecil Higgins Art Gallery, Bedford
'Odyssey', Greene Naftali Gallery, New York
1997'Objectif Corps', Montreal Museum of Fine Art, Canada
1996'Above, Below', Spencer Brownstone Gallery, SoHo, New York
1994‘Candyman 2’, Building C, TBBC, London (Jessica Voorsanger, Bob & Roberta Smith, Toby Mott & Matthew Collings)

Books/Catalogs (Selection)

Robert Davies - ‘Animals’, Wolverhampton Museum & Art Galelry, 2011
‘One Shot’, BPS 22, Charleroi, Belgium, 2010
‘Year’, Fine Art Society, London, 2008
‘Balls and Brains’, Helmhaus, Zurich, 2008
‘Replay’    Haus fur Kunst, Altdorf, Switzerland, 2008
Robert Davies - ‘Twilight’, Victoria & Albert Museum, London,  2006
Robert Davies - ’90 Minutes’, Merrell, London with Richard Williams, 2006
‘Made in Britain’ Huis Marseille/Fotografie Museum Amsterdam 2005
‘One’ Blue Gallery/Futurecity/BAR Honda 2005
‘Forest’ Wolverhampton Art Gallery 2004
‘Optic Nerve’ Wolsey Museum & Art Gallery, Ipswich 2003
‘Epiphany’ Blue Gallery, London 2002
‘Material Light’ Rhodes & Mann, Altefeuerwache Mannheim 2002
‘Century of the Body’ Culturgest, Lisbon & Musee de l’Elysee 2000
'Is there anyone home?' Gallery Westland Place 2000
'Fusion' Rhodes & Mann 2000
'Hair - Obsession & Art' Museum Bellerive, Zurich, Switzerland 2000
'Body Icons' Skopelos Centre of Photography, Greece 1999
'Live/Life' Musee d'Art Moderne, Paris 1997
'Cloudscapes' Arquivo Fotografico, Lisbon 1997
'Epreuves du Desir' MAS, Brussels, Belgium 1996
'Lightness & Weight' Custard Factory, Birmingham 1996

Essays/Articles (Selection)

’90 Minutes’ Merrell, London 2006
‘The Fifa 100’ Royal Academy Publications, London 2004
‘Narration and the New
Reduction in photgraphy’ Forum Stadtpark, Graz, Austria 2003
‘Material Light’ Mark Gisbourne published by Wunderhorn 2002
'Fully Exposed' Emmanuel Cooper, published by Routledge 1995
'The Body' William Ewing, published by Thames & Hudson 1994

Additional Information

The work of Robert Davies has also appeared in the following publications:
Blindspot, New York ; Camera Austria, Vienna; Contemporary, London; Foam, Amsterdam; Exit, Madrid; Creative Camera, London; Die Presse, Berlin; SZ Magazine, Munich; Los Angeles Times, USA; D-Pict, London, Untitled Magazine, London; Wallpaper; Time Out London; Time Out New York, Zoo, The Art Newspaper, Design Week, New Scientist, British Journal of Photography, The Guardian, The Independent, The Independent on Sunday, The Times & The Daily Telegraph.


Triangle Arts, Rorke’s Drift, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa
Findhorn, Cawdor, Nairnshire, Scotland

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