The Art of James Davis

Crawford’s book does an admirable job of unveiling the intention and background of this independent and forceful artist. Paintings that first appeared difficult and abrasive soon become intriguing. Crawford’s clarity allows the works to open up before the reader. Each new page brings another variation, another panel and greater insight into the symbolic work and its relevance to the artist’s unique experience… The Art of James Davis is an excellent guide to his vocabulary.

– Tim Spencer, artsHub


The Art of James Davis is a study of a visionary painter who uses a rich visual language unlike any other in Australian art. James Davis was born in Sydney and studied at The National Art School and Julian Ashton’s School of Fine Art.

Davis spent much of his twenties travelling and living in northern Europe, where he leaned towards the abstract expressionist movement. In his early thirties, he abandoned painting, intending to return to art after a year or two—this was not to occur for another fifteen years.

Davis’s resurgence was marked by a commitment to figurative, expressionist art and social comment around Fitzroy and Collingwood. In 1993, Davis returned to Europe, producing a new body of work relating primarily to his experiences in Hungary and the Czech Republic.

Now back in Melbourne, Davis continues to paint art that expresses social comment and conscience, as well as garden paintings, now, in a surreal manner.

Release date: 2012-04-12
Format: Hardback
ISBN 9781921875168
Authors: Ashley Crawford, James Davis
Publisher: Arcadia